Sports

Jamaican girls in finals of ITF/COTECC Under-12 Team Championships

BY GERALD REID
Observer writer

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

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JAMAICA qualified for the grand finals of the 2019 International Tennis Federation (ITF)/Confederation of Central American and the Caribbean (COTECC) Girls' Under-12 Team Tennis Championships, after finishing second in their Sub Region Three Championships which ended in the Dominican Republic last Saturday.

The championships were held from August 5-10.

Meanwhile, the Jamaican boys finished third overall in their Under-12 category after winning three and losing two matches in the five-team, round-robin competition won by the Dominican Republic One, who won all their five matches.

The Jamaican pair of Alyssa James and Gabrielle Christian, who played all the singles and doubles matches throughout the championships, will journey to the finals to be held in Trinidad and Tobago from August 26-30. The team will depart the island on Saturday, August 24 and return on Saturday, August 31.

James played brilliantly throughout the championships and won all her singles matches, while losing only two doubles matches.

The Jamaica vs Puerto Rico final was a repeat of their Group G encounter, which Puerto Rico won 2-1, and the Spanish-speaking country duly repeated the feat in the final.

Jamaica's Christian lost the first singles 1-6, 0-6 to Siena Shintler before James won the second singles match 6-2, 6-0 over Bela Martinez to level the tie at 1-1.

The crucial doubles match was used to decide the winner of the girls' championships. The Jamaican pair of James and Christian lost the first set 2-6, but did extremely well in the second set to win convincingly 6-1 to level the game at 1-1, and thus forcing a super tie-breaker.

Jamaica had three match points in their grasp to clinch the match, but they failed to capitalise on the opportunities with Puerto Rico coming back strongly to win the tie-breaker set 14-12.

In the preliminary round, the teams were divided into two groups with the top two advancing to the semi-finals. The format for each tie consists of two singles and a doubles.

Jamaica were placed in Group B along with Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic Two and the Bahamas. Haiti were also placed in this group but they didn't show up. Group A had Dominican Republic One, The Bahamas, and Cuba.

The Jamaicans won two matches and lost one in the three-team Group B competition blanking Dominican Republic Two 3-0, with James beating Camille De Castro 6-0, 6-1; Christian defeating Sophia Canchica 6-0, 6-2 in the singles, while James and Christian whipped Canchica and Paz Cabral 6-1, 6-0 in the doubles

Jamaica's second win was against the Bahamas 2-1 with Christian losing 0-6, 0-6 to Saphirre Ferguson, James brushing aside Breann Ferguson 6-1, 6-1 to square the match at 1-1. James and Christian then clinched the match 2-1 by winning the doubles 6-1, 6-2 against the pair of Jalisa Clarke and Saphirre Ferguson.

The lone defeat for Jamaica was against the Puerto Ricans, who topped Group B with three wins.

Christian went down in the first singles match 6-1, 6-0 to Valeria Almeda, while James levelled the tie 1-1 when she defeated Bela Martinez 6-2, 6-0. The doubles decided the winner of the tie with the Jamaican pair of James and Christina losing to the pair of Martinez and Siena Shintler 6-7, 6-2 before losing in the super tie-breaker set 10-8.

In the semi-finals, Jamaica defeated The Bahamas, winner of Group A, 2-1, while Puerto Rico defeated Cuba to advance to the finals.

The Jamaican boys beat the Bahamas 2-0, tagged Cuba 3-0, then clipped the Dominican Republic 2-1, while losing 2-1 to the Dominican Republic One, and Puerto Rico 2-1.

For the grand championship finals to be held in Trinidad and Tobago, other countries that are expected to participate are winners and runners-ups from other Sub Regions, Honduras, Guatemala, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, and two teams from Mexico.


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