All competitors and coaches
Guatemalan players once again proved they were the strongest in the region when they won the boys’ and girls’ team events at the second Central American Championships, which took place in El Salvador on 6–11 July.
Maria Jose Hernandez and Gabriela Lopez did not lose a set between them on the way to defeating their rivals in the girls’ round robin event. Fabian Taracena and Sebastian Dominguez stormed to victory in a similar manner, defeating Dominican Republic in the final to win the gold medal for Guatemala in the boys’ event.
In the girls’ event, the silver medal was won by the host nation with players Valentina Cruz and Maria Jose Delgado showing great determination as they won through some closely fought matches. The boys’ team of Alejandro Gandini and Samuel Dickson from the Dominican Republic won silver after a surprise victory over the team from Nicaragua the day before.
The bronze medals went to the Dominican Republic in the girls’ category and Costa Rica in the boys’. These six teams have qualified for the ITF/GSDF 12&U COTECC Team Masters, which will be staged in Mexico in November. They will be joined by teams from Mexico as well as the top three boys’ and girls’ teams from the ITF/GSDF 12&U Caribbean Team Championships taking place in Jamaica in September.
One very important aspect of these championships are the educational forums for the players and the players’ parents, which take place each evening and feature themes, presented by the captains, such as “Why good preparation before a tournament is important”, “In 14 & Under events, what are the basic physical and mental skills necessary to achieve success in competitions” and “The importance of motivation to win competitions”.
The Championships are supported by the Grand Slam Development fund and the International Tennis Federation, who created this event to provide more competitive opportunities in the region for this age group.