01 Feb 2018

Argentina, Chile, Colombia earn day two wins

News Article

Photo: Joanne Wallen USTAFrancisco Cayulef (CHI)

Argentina’s women’s team made a winning debut at the 2018 BNP Paribas World Team Cup Americas Qualification by the narrowest of margins on Wednesday, while Chile remained unbeaten in the men’s event at the expense of the host nation at the USTA National Campus in Orlando, Florida.

On the back of winning her first Cruyff Foundation Junior Masters girls’ singles title in Tarbes at the weekend, 16-year-old Antonella Pralong extended her winning streak in junior and senior singles matches to 20 contests as she gave Argentina a 1-0 lead against Colombia.s women’s team.

World No.1 in girls' singles and No. 23 in women’s singles, Pralong beat Johana Martinez 62 60, but word No. 12 Angelica Bernal ensured the tie would be settled in the doubles rubber after beating Argentinian No. 1 Maria Florencia Moreno 36 61 62.  

The combined efforts of Bernal and Martinez have helped Colombia to win the women’s event at the Americas Qualification twice since 2014, and while Colombia’s ambitions remain alive this year, Argentina go into Thursday’s third day of play in Orlando with the advantage after Moreno and Pralong edged Bernal and Martinez 61 26 (10-8) in Wednesday’s deciding match tiebreak.

Chile beats USA men as Colombia beats Ecuador

Chile and USA are one round-robin tie away from possibly meeting in Friday’s men’s final in Orlando, but if the host nation is going to advance to the finals of the 2018 BNP Paribas Wold Team Cup in Apeldoorn, Netherlands, USA will need to reverse the result of Wednesday’ tie.

Chile’s Francisco Cayulef went into his singles rubber against Chris Herman having faced the American only once before, when Herman edged to a 75 75 win at the 2015 Vancouver International. However, Cayulef proved too strong in their latest encounter, winning 63 62 to give Chile the lead.

Another reversal on previous head-to-heads was to come in the second singles rubber between Alexander Cataldo and USA’s Casey Ratzlaff.

Two meetings as juniors in 2016, one coming at the BNP Paribas World Team Cup in Tokyo and one coming at the Junior Masters, ended in straight sets wins for Cataldo. However, 19-year-old Ratzlaff had the beating of 20-year-Catalaldo in the first of a possible two meetings this week, earning a 62 61 victory.

The deciding doubles rubber proved much closer than the two singles rubbers, but ultimately it was Cataldo and Cayulef who had the final say, securing the tie for Chile with a 64 76(6) win.

USA now plays Ecuador in its last round-robin tie and Chile plays Colombia after the Colombian team beat Ecuador 3-0. 

Eliecer Oquendo Barrios wrapped up the first of three straight sets wins for Colombia after beating Ecuador's Eduardo Lopez 75 61, while Manuel Sanchez’s 61 60 win over Francisco Beltran gave Colombia an unassailable lead. Oquendo Barrios and Sanchez subsequently made it 3-0 after beating Beltran and Lopez 63 62.

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