Photo: Roberto R. Tellez Lucio (FMT)Maria Antonieta Ortiz (CHI)
Canada and Chile earned their places in Men’s World Group 2 and the Women’s World Group for May’s 2012 BNP Paribas World Team Cup in Seoul, Korea when they won Friday’s play-off finals at the Americas qualification event in Mexico City.
The women’s play-off didn’t disappoint as Chile and Colombia went head-to-head for the second time this week, Colombia having won a final set tie-break in the deciding doubles rubber of their round-robin tie on the first day of competition.
However, on this occasion Chile came out top in the much-anticipated contest after both singles rubbers had gone to three sets.
Junior Masters champion Angelica Bernal again opened for Colombia and battled to a 63 67(4) 62 win over Francisco Mardones. Maria Antonieta Ortiz had won her first singles rubber of the week against Johana Martinez in straight sets, but had to go to a deciding set this time before again keeping Chile in the contest after a 60 26 64 victory.
Mardones and Ortiz then avoided the need for another tense deciding set in the doubles, taking it 64 64 to seal a 2-1 victory for top seeds Chile and secure their place in the Women’s World Group.
In the men’s final play-off the opening set of the first singles rubber was a tense affair that Canada’s Philippe Bedard took on a tie-break before racing away to secure a 76(4) 60 win over Margarito ‘Tito’ Bautista of Mexico.
Joel Dembe put the tie beyond the host nation as he eased past Rolando Avila Valdes 61 60 and Bedard and Dembe completed Canada’s 3-0 victory when beating Bautista and Joaquin Isaac Palma Pineiro 60 60 to win the doubles.
“It was really great to play in front of the boisterous home crowd. I think Tito and I put on a good match especially in the tight first set,” said Bedard. “I started quite nervous, but managed to adjust. I’m really happy how I managed to control my emotions and handle the big points in the first set. I’m really satisfied with my week here in Mexico. Still a lot of work to be done, but I am looking forward to this tennis season!”
”I played solid tennis today. I am glad to have been able to help Team Canada get to Korea (and I’m) looking forward to playing there,” said Dembe.
Canada’s National Coach Christian Gingras was also obviously delighted with his nation’s victory.
”The guys worked hard to prepare themselves for the event and then execute. I am very happy for them to have the opportunity to play in Korea in May and represent Canada in the best possible way.”