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Testing times for Bajans

Mira Ruder- Hook.

Mira Ruder- Hook.

Number two seed, American Mira Ruder-Hook, and unseeded Brazilian Luisa Stefani will contest the girls’ under-18 final of the 2013 ITF/Barbados International junior tennis tournament.

Play starts tomorrow at 9 a.m. on the hard courts of the National Tennis Centre, Wildey.

Today the tall American shrugged off a stern challenge from compatriot, Helen Altick to reach the play-off with a 6-1, 7-6 victory after two hours of testing baseline play.

Stefani ousted Jenna Friedel, a temperamental American ranked 500 places above her, with a fearless and solid game that is likely to test the No.2 seed. Stefani won her semifinal 6-4, 6-1 and had also booked a place in the doubles semis, partnering Jennifer Quennard of Switzerland.

Among the under-18 boys, No.1 seed Robbie Ridout of England remained on course for a shot at the championship title when he stormed into the boys’ under-18 semi-finals with a convincing 6-0, 6-3 victory over No.7 seed, Kian Mclean of the United States.

The top seed continued a run of good form in windy conditions and has appeared a much improved player since his demise in the round of 16 at the Barbados tournament last year.

In tomorrow’s semi-finals, Ridout will oppose Alejandro Llamas (USA), who defeated Bahamian No.6 seed Phillip Major – 7-5, 6-3.

The other semi-final brings together Peter Bertran of the Dominican Republic and Maximilano Zavala of the United States.Bertran and Zavala also advanced at the expense of Bahamian hopefuls, Christian Cargill (No.3 seed) and unseeded Rasheed Carey. Cargill went out 6-1, 6-1, while Carey fought and led Zavala in the second set but could not control the match, falling 6-3, 7-6.

In Girls’ under-18 doubles play, Barbadians Kiana Marshall and Cherise Slocombe saw their run end today as Slocombe and Anais Emelie of Martinique were defeated – 6-3, 6-0, – by Americans Priyanka and Dominique Vasile.

Marshall, teaming with Morgan Bernabe of Martinique, defeated Christiana Brigante (USA) and Julia D’Auvergne (St. Lucia) – 6-2, 6-2 – before falling to Americans Mira Ruder-Hook and Caroline Turner, 6-1, 6-1.

The ITF/Barbados international junior tournament, which is being played in under-18 and under-14 divisions, continues tomorrow with doubles and singles play-off matches, after starting a week ago with more than 100 players from 25 countries. (BB)

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