BARCELONA, SPAIN: It was a dreary, wet and chilly day in Barcelona, but in the end all the matches made it to the courts.
The USA was the top seeds in the Junior Davis Cup and Junior Fed Cup finals by BNP Paribas held at the Real Club de Polo de Barcelona this week. Both the girls and the boys teams found a path from the three days of round-robin play to Friday’s semifinal.
That, however, is where the similarities ended.
The USA girls lived up to their billing by beating third seeds Brazil 2-0 in the semifinals and then abandoned the doubles as the decision had already been reached. Louisa Chirico had an easy 63 60 outing against Carolina Meligeni Alves, but Taylor Townsend, the top ranked girl in the world, had to come through a monumental fight before beating back Beatriz Haddad Maia 67 (5) 76 (5) 61.
It wasn’t a successful day for the USA boys who failed to reach the final, losing to third seeds Australia 2-0. Harry Boucher gave Australia it’s winning start by beating Stefan Kozlov 16 63 75. Thanasi Kokkinakis then took immediate control of his match over Noah Rubin for a 63 62 win.
In the girls competition, the seeds went to form as second seeds Russia also moved into the final where they’ll face the USA.
Russia took a 2-0 win over sixth seeds Australia to keep the Aussie girls from equalling the success of the boy counterparts. Daria Kasatkina beat Zoe Hives 62 75 and Elizaveta Kulichkova took a 61 63 win over Isabelle Wallace.
The Brazilian girls will play the Australian girls to decide third and fourth place in the Fed Cup draw.
In Davis Cup action, Australia will square off against second seeds Italy in the final. Italy took a 2-0 win over fourth seeds France in the semifinals. Filippo Baldi posted a 62 64 win over Quentin Halys and Gianluigi Quinzi eventually prevailed 36 63 61 over Johan Sebastien Tatlot.
The USA will play France to decide third and fourth place finishers.
In other Junior Davis Cup scores around the courts on Friday: Russia beat Argentina 2-0, Peru beat China 2-0, Brazil beat Morocco 2-0, Sweden beat Korea 2-1, Japan beat Spain 2-1, and Mexico beat Egypt 2-1.
In other Junior Fed Cup scores around the courts on Friday: Germany beat Paraguay 2-0, Spain beat Italy 2-1, Egypt beat Japan 2-0, Korea beat Belarus 2-0, and Mexico beat China 2-0. Unseeded South Africa upset fourth seeds Latvia by winning both singles matches, however the two teams decided to play the doubles which was still in action at close to 8:00 pm.
On Saturday, the teams vying for spots 5-8 and 9-12 will play their final matches. On Sunday, the teams vying for spots 1-4 and 13-16 will play their final matches.