Colombia to take on Argentina in the final
In less than 24 hours, Argentina recovered from a devastating loss against Paraguay to advance to the final of the Fed Cup by BNP Paribas Americas Zone Group I, thanks to a comprehensive 3-0 win over Peru.
As predicted at the outset of this competition, the grand final will be between Colombia, who defeated Brazil in the Pool B decider. Victory in the doubles assured Colombia a place in the final: in their first match together, Catalina Castaño and Karen Emilia Castiblanco Duarte were too strong for Ana Clara Duarte and Roxane Vaisemberg winning 63 75.
Earlier, Castaño overcame María Fernanda Alves 60 76(5), while in the clash of the No. 1 singles players, Duarte surprised Mariana Duque Marino 64 64.
“History is history and tomorrow is a new day,” said Castaño, who has played in three previous match-ups between Argentina and Colombia (in 1999, 2000 and 2007 - Argentina won all three).
The winner of the match between Argentina and Colombia will play in the World Group II play-offs.
Argentina made it look easy
The host nation, under the guidance of first-time captain Bettina Fulco, had to beat Peru 3-0, the only undefeated team in Pool A before today, to avoid a post-match autopsy.
The final order of Pool A was decided before Argentina even played the doubles, when Bolivia took the second singles against Paraguay, negating any chance of reaching the final.
Argentina had already won its first two singles rubbers without the loss of a set and ended up sealing its place in the final thanks to better games difference than its Peruvian opponents. In total, the Argentine players, led by Gisela Dulko, lost just 10 games in three matches played today.
Florencia Molinero started proceedings with a 62 63 victory over Patricia Ku, who had been undefeated in six Fed Cup matches.
Next up came the singles debut this week for Dulko, who looked to have overcome her jetlag with a clinical victory over Bianca Botto 60 63.
Dulko and María Irigoyen completed the rout with a 60 62 win against Bianca Botto y Ximena Siles Luna in the doubles.
“We were very solid today,” said Irigoyen. “Yesterday was just a bad day and everything worked well today and we are very happy to reach the final.”
Montserrat Gonzalez is not going to forget this weekend. The player from Asuncion, who has just turned 16, has shown she is capable of playing to a very high level, especially in the doubles victory with Veronica Cepede Royg against Dulko and Molinero.
On the last day of Pool A, Gonzalez opened the tie against Bolivia with a 64 61 win over Paula Deheza, but Cepede fell to Maria Fernanda Alvarez 62 61. Paraguay won the final point on offer when Gonzalez and Cepede teamed up to defeat Deheza and Alvarez 46 63 63.
However, there is no time to sit back as Paraguay must now play Mexico in the tie that will determine which team is relegated to the Americas Zone Group II. In the other match, Chile will play Bolivia.
Competing for third place in Group I this year are Peru and Brazil.
Chile secured its first victory of the week, defeating Mexico 2-1. Andrea Koch saw off Nazari Urbina 62 63, Ximena Hermoso did the same against Camila Silva 76(6) 64, and Koch and Silva completed the win by overcoming Laila and Nadia Abdala 63 63.
Argentina 3-0 Peru
Florencia Molinero (ARG) d. Patricia Ku (PER) 62 63
Gisela Dulko (ARG) d. Bianca Botto (PER) 60 63
Gisela Dulko / Maria Irigoyen (ARG) d. Bianca Botto / Ximena Siles Luna (PER) 60 62
Paraguay 2-1 Bolivia
Montserrat Gonzalez (PAR) d. Maria Paula Deheza (BOL) 64 61
Maria Fernanda Alvarez (BOL) d. Veronica Cepede Royg (PAR) 62 61
Veronica Cepede Royg / Montserrat Gonzalez (PAR) d. Maria Paula Deheza / Maria Fernanda Alvarez (BOL) 46 63 63
Colombia 2-1 Brazil
Catalina Castano (COL) d. Maria Fernanda Alves (BRA) 60 76(5)
Ana Clara Duarte (BRA) d. Mariana Duque Marino (COL) 64 64
Karen Emila Castablanco Duarte / Catalina Castano (COL) d. Ana Clara Duarte / Roxane Vaisemberg (BRA) 63 75
Chile 2-1 Mexico
Andrea Koch (CHI) d. Nazari Urbina (MEX) 62 63
Ximena Hermoso (MEX) d. Camila Silva (CHI) 76(6) 64
Andrea Koch / Camila Silva (CHI) d. Laila Abdala / Nadia Abdala (MEX) 63 63
- Americas Zone Group I