After dropping its first two matches of the 2020 Junior Fed Cup by BNP Paribas North, Central America and Caribbean Pre-Qualifying Tournament in San Salvador, El Salvador, Team Bahamas came away with a victory over Honduras yesterday and it came down to a thrilling three-set doubles contest. Aiming to finish the week-long tournament on a strong note, The Bahamas’ three-member team of Peyton Anderson, Kaylee Kanuka and Kinza Johnson took down Honduras in the 9-14th placement matches, winning 2-1 on court number 11 of the main tennis complex in San Salvador.
The three-member team is coached by Chelsi Russell, who was recently certified as an International Tennis Federation (ITF) Level 2 Coach in Valencia, Spain.
In the first singles contest on Thursday, Kanuka defeated Honduras’ number two player Valeria Suarez in straight sets, 6-4 and 6-3. In the other singles, The Bahamas’ number one player Anderson lost to Honduras’ number one Victoria Aparicio, 1-6, 6-2 and 6-2. The doubles contest broke the tie, and it was The Bahamas’ team of Anderson and Kanuka who came through in three tough sets after losing the first set.
Anderson and Kanuka took down the team of Aparicio and Fernanda Solis, 4-6, 7-6(4) and 10-8 in a contest that lasted an hour and 44 minutes.
The Bahamas will now go on to play Suriname in the 9-12th matches today. The winner will play for the ninth and 10th spots and the loser will play for the 11th and 12th spots.
The Bahamas fell out of contention for one of the spots in the Junior Fed Cup Final for this region with a whitewash loss to number one ranked Guatemala on Wednesday. The Bahamas won just one game in three contests, and none of the three contests lasted for an hour.
The Bahamas’ number two player Kanuka fell to Guatemala’s number two Mariela Fortuny, 6-0 and 6-0. In the other singles match, The Bahamas’ number one player Anderson fell to Guatemala’s number one player Deborah Dominguez by an identical score, 6-0 and 6-0; and in doubles, the Bahamian team of Kanuka and Johnson fell to the team of Dominguez and Fortuny, 6-1 and 6-0.
On Tuesday, The Bahamas’ Junior Fed Cup team fell 2-1 to Cuba. In singles, Anderson lost to Cuba’s number one player Sachely Carrera, 6-2 and 6-1, in a match that lasted a little over an hour. Following that match, Kanuka defeated Cuba’s number two Roxana Valdez in straight sets, 6-1 and 6-1; and in doubles, the team of Anderson and Kanuka fell to Carrera and Valdez in straight sets, 7-6(3) and 6-2.
In an extremely tough match against Honduras on Thursday, The Bahamas won five of the eight sets up for grabs and 43 of the 83 games.
A total of 14 teams are competing out of four groups in the girls 16s pre-qualifying tournament. They are: The Bahamas, Barbados, Costa Rica, Cuba, Curacao, the Dominican Republic, host country El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Suriname, Trinidad & Tobago and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Just the top two finishers in each group advanced to the tournament quarterfinals. The tournament continues today and wraps up on Saturday.
Junior Davis Cup and Junior Fed Cup are international team competitions for boys and girls in the 16-and-under age category. In Junior Davis Cup earlier this month, The Bahamas was represented by Dentry Mortimer Jr. and Anthony Burrows, and the team failed to advance to the Junior Davis Cup Finals for the Americas. The girls team is hoping not to suffer the same fate.
The Bahamas Lawn Tennis Association (BLTA) has sent out a statement expressing well-wishes to the team as they continue to represent The Bahamas in junior tennis internationally.
Junior Davis Cup and Junior Fed Cup by BNP Paribas were launched by the ITF in 1985 as the 16-and-under World Youth Cup, and rebranded in 2002. BNP Paribas has been the title sponsor of the Junior Davis Cup since 2002, before going on to sponsor the Junior Fed Cup in 2005.