The Bahamas beats Panama; to play for fifth

Team Bahamas will now play for fifth at the World Junior Tennis (WJT) Girls 14s North, Central American and Caribbean Pre-Qualifying Tournament, which continues over at the Parque del Este in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

The Bahamas got a 3-0 win over Panama in the relegation tie yesterday morning, and with that result, advanced to the fifth-sixth place tie today in which they will take on number five ranked Costa Rica – a team they lost to in the round-robin segment of the tournament, three matches to none.

In the opening match on Wednesday, The Bahamas’ number two player, Breann Ferguson, easily disposed of Panama’s Lia Calderon in straight sets. She won comfortably, 6-2 and 6-2, in a match that lasted an hour and 15 minutes. In The Bahamas’ second match of the day, number one player Sierra Rodgers, went up against Panama’s number one Liz Arce and also won in straight sets. She prevailed 6-2 and 6-0.

The doubles match proved to be a bit more challenging for The Bahamas, but once again they came out on top. The Bahamas’ duo of cousins Sapphire and Breann Ferguson held off Calderon and Arce in three sets, 6-0, 5-7 and 10-8. That match lasted an hour and 35 minutes.

The Bahamas lost to the host nation, the Dominican Republic (DR), the day before, and with that loss, they were eliminated from contention for the World Junior Tennis regional final against countries such as the United States, Canada and Mexico, which is scheduled to take place from April 23-25 on Canadian soil. They ended round-robin play with a 2-1 win-loss record and then lost in the quarterfinals to the DR.

The two finalists from this pre-qualifying tournament, the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico, will move on to the regional final in April. The Dominican Republic knocked off top seeded Trinidad & Tobago in the semifinals yesterday, and second seeded Puerto Rico came from behind to beat third seeded Guatemala.

The other countries that participated in the week-long tournament were fourth seeded Antigua & Barbuda, El Salvador, Barbados, Jamaica, Suriname, Curaçao and Honduras.

The Bahamas made significant strides from a year ago when the country finished 14th. Now, they are slated to play for fifth today.

The three-member team, that is coached by Marion Bain, will return to the country on Friday.

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Sheldon Longley

Sheldon Longley joined The Nassau Guardian in January 2001 as a sports reporter. He was promoted to sports editor in 2008. Sheldon has an extensive background in sports reporting. He covered three Olympic Games and three world championships, along with multiple smaller regional and local games.

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