19 Nov 2011

Fernandez clinches Parapanam Games gold medal

Match Report

Photo: Rosa SanchezMen singles medallists Augustin Ledesma, Gustavo Fernandez and Stephen Welch

Gustavo Fernandez became Parapanam Games men’s singles champion on Friday in Guadalajara, Mexico after beating fellow Argentinean Augustin Ledesma 62 62 in a final between the world’s top two ranked junior players.

Both sets of the gold medal match followed an identical pattern as Fernandez won the first two games and the last two games on each occasion, while Ledesma’s successes were limited to breaking serve in the third game ad holding serve in the sixth game of each set.

Victory for Fernandez al earned his automatic qualification for the London 2012 Paralympics.

While Argentina finished the wheelchair tennis event in Guadalajara second in the sport’s medal table after gaining total of three of the 12 medals on offer, USA topped the medal table with three gold medals, one silver and one bronze medal.

Stephen Welch, who shared in Thursday’s men’s doubles gold medal victory with Jon Rydberg, added to his own personal medal tally when clinching bronze in the men’s singles.  The Texan former world No. 1 won the first seven games without reply in his play-off against Chile’s Robinson Mendez.  Mendez went on to move a break up at 3-1 in the second set, but Welch soon ended the Chilean’s sequence of three successive games to secure a comfortable 60 63 victory.

Women’s singles  finalists Emmy Kaiser and Mackenzie Soldan added the third American gold of the week in the women’s doubles after beating Colombia’s Angelica Bernal and Johana Martinez 63 60.

Kaiser and Soldan opened up a 4-1 first set lead and then won the last seven games of the women’s doubles final to add to the American gold medal in the men’s doubles the previous day.

Meanwhile, Francisca Mardones and Maria Antonieta Ortiz secured Chile’s position on the wheelchair tennis medal table after a tense 64 64 victory over Brazil’s Natalia Mayara and Rejane Candida in the women’s doubles bronze medal match.

Ecuador’s Efrain Cabrera began the final day of the wheelchair tennis competition by beating Peru’s Augusto Alvarez 60 62 in the men’s consolation singles final.