The Bahamas wins Fed Cup Tie in El Salvador
Guardian Sports Reporter
Published: Jul 22, 2013
When the 2014 Fed Cup rolls around, The Bahamas will be playing in the Americas Zone Group I, gaining promotion on Saturday after capturing the number one spot in Pool ‘B’ of the group two tie.
It came down to the doubles match for Team Bahamas, as they outlasted a tough and unbeaten Dominican Republic team. The Bahamas won the first singles match as Kerrie Cartwright defeated Michelle Valdez, 6-2 and 7-5. The second singles match saw the two top seeds battling it out. Taking the advantage away from The Bahamas was Dominican Republic’s Francesca Segarelli who won, 6-0 and 7-5, over Simone Pratt. Cartwright and Larikah Russell teamed up and captured the doubles, 6-3, 5-7 and 6-2, over Joelle Schad and Karia Portalatin, to give The Bahamas the top spot in Pool ‘B’. The tournament was played at the Maya Country Club in Santa Tecia, El Salvador.
“This is a great day for local tennis,” said Derron Donaldson, president of the Bahamas Lawn Tennis Association (BLTA). “It is an excellent accomplishment, an awesome achievement and the victory was something we envisioned, from we put this team together. Our chances of winning the group improved after Jamaica pulled out, and the new format was released. The Bahamas only needed to win our pool and the team went there and did that. That particular quartet has made history for us, and will be a part of history. It is unfortunate that our Davis Cup team was unable to pull off a win when they played in their respective tie. However, we are still proud of them, and we will continue fighting until they are promoted.
“Even though this was a young team, I think they were all experienced in their own right and took up the challenge which was moving the country from group two to group one. Overall, we are very grateful to them and thank each and every one of them for playing. Kerrie had an outstanding tournament. The new addition was Danielle and she stepped up big in her match. Simone, who is the number one singles player, did an excellent job. She had some big shoes to fill, but they fit her well and she wore them perfectly. As for player/captain Larikah, I think she did a great job and made the best decisions that helped us to get out of this group. I didn’t get an opportunity to speak to her, after the matches. When I did she told me that it was going to be a nail-biter, but she was confident that we had the strongest team.”
Ecuador was the second country that won a promotion into the Americas Zone Group I for 2014. They took Pool ‘A’ of this year’s tie. The second spot in that pool was captured by Bolivia, Guatemala was third and Puerto Rico finished fourth. The Dominican Republic finished second behind The Bahamas in Pool ‘B’, and they were followed by Uruguay, host El Salvador and Trinidad and Tobago in that order.
Young Cartwright had a perfect tournament, winning all of her singles matches. She defeated Carolina De Los Santos, 1-6, 6-4 and 7-5, Valdez Mariella Calderon, 6-1 and 7-6(3), Rosalinda Recinos, 7-5 and 6-3, and Anneliese Rose, 7-5 and 6-0. The match against Segarelli was the only singles loss for Pratt.
The team arrived late last evening. A meet and greet, which is being organized by the BLTA, is scheduled for some time this week.