by Ian Marshall, Editor
In the Dominican Republic, Sharon Alguetti was beaten at the final hurdle by colleague Kanak Jha (11-7, 11-7, 12-10, 11-6), Amy Wang suffered at the hands of Puerto Rico’s Adriana Diaz (9-11, 11-8, 11-9, 10-12, 11-5, 7-11, 13-11), a contest in which she held match point in the deciding game.
Both Kanak Jha and Adriana Diaz, the dominant players in the history of the tournament are now out of the age group; new names will be added to the role of honour. Notably Kanak Jha is the only ever winner of the boys’ singles title; he won at the inaugural edition in 2016 in Burnaby, then repeated the success in 2017 in Buenos Aires, before last year completing the hat-trick in Santo Domingo. For Adriana Diaz, the only difference is that in the girls’ singles event in the Argentine capital city she was beaten in the final by Brazil’s Bruna Takahashi (7-11, 6-11, 11-3, 11-5, 13-11, 6-11, 12-10).
Notably performances but most notable is that last year in the Dominican Republic, the only title not to finish in the hands of the United States was the girls’ singles; in Cancun the Stars and Stripes could well be in line for a full house. Sharon Alguetti is the no.4 seed in the boys’ singles event behind Chile’s Nicolas Burgos, Brazil’s Guilherme Teodoro and colleague Nikhil Kumar. In the boys’ doubles Nikhil Kumar and Michael Minh Tran occupy the no.3 seeded spot; Nicolas Burgos and colleague Andres Martinez head the list, next in line is the partnership formed by Brazil’s Guillerme Teodoro and Rafael Torino.
A prominent United States presence, it is even more prominent in the mixed doubles event, Nikhil Kumar and Amy Wang head the list, Sharon Alguetti and Crystal Wang being the next in the order of merit. Meanwhile, in the girls’ singles competition, Amy Wang, Rachel Sung and Crystal Wang occupy the respective top three seeded positions; in the girls’ doubles Amy Wang and Crystal Wang lead the line ahead Rachel Sung and Rachel Yang, the defending champions.
Similarly in both the boys’ team and girls’ team events the United States is in top spot. Sharon Alguetti, Nikhil Kumar, Victor Liu and Michael Minh Tran form the boys’ team selection being listed ahead of Chile’s Nicolas Burgos, Sebastian Gonzalez, Andres Martinez and Jorge Paredes. Brazil’s Lauro Sebold, Guilherme Teodoro, Eduardo Tomoike and Rafael Torino reserve the third seeded spot.
In the girls’ team competition, Rachel Sung, Amy Wang, Crystal Wang and Rachel Yang comprise the United States squad; Canada’s Sophie Gauthier, Ivy Liao, Joyce Xu and Benita Zhou form the second seeded outfit. Guatemala’s Lucia Cordero, Mercedes Mendizabal and Hidalynn Zapata occupy the third seeded position.
Outfits finishing in the top three places in each of the boys’ team and girls’ team events, qualify for the 2019 World Junior Championships to be staged later this year in late November and early December in Bangkok, Thailand.