02 Feb 2018

Argentina women qualify for World Team Cup


News Article

Photo: Joanne Wallen USTAAntonella Pralong (ARG)

Argentina’s women secured qualification for the 2018 BNP Paribas World Team Cup on Thursday at the Americas Qualification as Chile and USA were confirmed as finalists in the men’s event at the USTA National Campus at Lake Nona, Orlando, Florida.

Argentina will contest the women’s event in the finals of the ITF’s flagship wheelchair tennis team event for the first time since 2006 after Maria Florencia Moreno and Antonella Pralong earned a second 2-1 victory over Colombia in successive days.

Pralong ensured that she remains unbeaten in junior and singles matches since early October 2017 when the 16-year-old made it back-to-back straight sets wins over Colombia’s Johana Martinez.

The Cruyff Foundation Junior Masters champion followed up Wednesday’s 62 60 win over Martinez by again dropping just two games, winning 61 61. The outcome of the second singles rubber was ultimately the same, too, but after a three-set win over Moreno on Wednesday, world No. 12 Angelica Bernal made a much better start to their latest meeting and closed out a 62 64 victory to force a deciding doubles rubber once more.

Not only a second straight deciding doubles rubber, but a second match tiebreak in two days followed as another thrilling tie concluded with a 62 67(3), (10-3) victory for Moreno and Pralong.

Chile edges Colombia to set up men’s final with USA

When it comes to thrilling finishes, Chile’s 2-1 win over Colombia in the third and last round-robin tie for both nation’s had it all – a crucial doubles rubber with two tiebreaks and a deciding match tiebreak.

The prequel to the doubles rubber included a 62 62 win for Eliecer Oquendo Barrios, whose victory over Chile’s Jaime Sepulveda was the experienced Colombian’s third singles win in three days for his country.

However, Alexander Cataldo comfortably took the second singles rubber, beating Manuel Sanchez 60 61.

Cataldo subsequently partnered Francisco Cayulef for the doubles rubber as they set about trying to secure Chile’s third tie victory in three days and a match that promised much certainly delivered as Cataldo and Cayulef claimed the win against Oquendo Barrios and Sanchez 67(0) 76(6) (10-6).

Having lost 2-1 to Chile earlier in the week top seed and host nation USA booked its place in Saturday’s final with relative ease as Chris Herman and Casey Ratzlaff dropped just six games in total in a 3-0 win over Ecuador.

Herman’s 62 61 win over Eduardo Lopez preceded Ratzlaff’s 60 61 win over Francisco Beltran before Herman and Ratzlaff took the doubles 61 61.

With Argentina hawing won the women’s event after finishing runner-up to Brazil in the Americas Qualification in 2017, USA will now bid to do the same in the men’s event.

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