by Ian Marshall
A 3-0 success was the margin of victory in the penultimate round against Puerto Rico, the no.6 seeds, represented by José Nieves, Enrique Rios and Derek Valentin; however, one round earlier, life had been much more exacting.
Rafael Cabrera emerged as the star of the show, accounting for Ye Zelin (11-7, 4-11, 11-6, 5-11, 11-7) and, in the vital fifth match of the engagement, David Mandelstam (7-11, 11-5, 11-4, 11-4) in a full distance 3-2 win against Canada, the no.4 seeds.
The one remaining success for the Dominican Republic was recorded in the opening contest of the engagement, when Ramon Vila beat David Mandelstam (12-10, 12-10, 11-4).
In the final, the United States, the no.3 seeds await; similarly, they upset the order of merit and needed the full five matches to record a quarter-final win.
Facing Brazil, the top seeds, Daniel Tran proved the key to United States success. He beat both Leonardo Kenzo (8-11, 11-6, 2-11, 17-15, 11-9) and Felipe Arado (11-5, 14-12, 11-3). The one further win was gained by Nanadan Naresh, in the opening match of the fixture, he overcame Felipe Arado (10-12, 11-5, 11-2, 11-6).
Likewise, in the semi-final contest against Peru, the no.2 seeds, in a 3-1 win, Daniel Tran beat both Alejandro Vera (10-12, 11-2, 11-9, 11-9) and Sebastian Zeballos (5-11, 11-5, 11-5, 11-5, 11-5). Nandan Naresh added the one further success, in the second match of the engagement, he overcame Sebastian Zeballos (11-9, 11-8, 11-3).
Surprise finalist, in the under 15 girls’ team event, it was no different. Canada, the no.9 seeds, recorded a 3-2 penultimate round win against Puerto Rico, the no.2 seeds.
Mainstay of the success was Crystal Liu. She beat Edmarie Leon (7-11, 11-9, 11-8, 5-11, 11-6), before in the vital concluding match of the fixture, accounting for Kristal Melendez (4-11, 6-11, 11-4, 11-7, 11-6). Jessie Xu added the one further success for the United States; in the third match of the fixture, she overcame Alahia Medina (11-6, 11-6, 11-2).
One round earlier, Canada had secured a 3-1 win against the Dominican Republic, ironically their only defeat being that of Crystal Liu in the opening encounter when facing Shary Munoz (2-11, 11-8, 5-11, 13-11, 11-9).
Just as in the boys’ event, the United States presents the opposition in the final; at the semi-final stage, the top seeds, the trio comprising Sarah Jalli, Sally Moyland and Emily Tan recorded a 3-0 win against Guatemala’s Jenny Cux, Kimberley Garcia and Katerine Ruiz.
Play in the team events concludes on Tuesday 14th September.