CURITIBA, BRAZIL: Paraguay and Colombia are off to a good start in Pool B of the Fed Cup by BNP Paribas Americas Group I after prevailing over Bolivia and Venezuela respectively on Monday.
The Paraguayans earned a comfortable win against a young Bolivian team with an overall score of 3-0. Montserrat Gonzalez took the first step towards the victory by beating Belen Rivera 62 61 in 54 minutes.
“We prepared this match very well. All the rivals are difficult in this kind of tournament. Happily, I practiced my best tennis and managed to maintain the focus all the time. This (win) gives us confidence to keep going forward,” said Montserrat.
Paraguay’s No. 1 Veronica Cepede Royg stepped next into the court and gained an effortless victory over Noelia Zeballos 61 60 in 51 minutes.
“I’m very happy with the way I have won as the first match is always very difficult. I was very confident and consistent during the whole of it,” said Cepede.
The Paraguayans completed their victory with another win in the doubles rubber from Gonzalez and Isabella Robbiani against Nabilah Farah and Natalia Davila 61 75.
Brazil up next
Paraguay’s next opponents will be hosts Brazil, on Tuesday, in what is expected to be one of the most tightly contested clashes of this round robin.
“Brazil are a very strong team and will have the support of the crowd. The level of their team is excellent and they have Roxane Vaisemberg, a very technical left-handed player, but we are going to give our best,” said Cepede.
Paraguayan captain cautious
At the conclusion of the opening day, the Paraguayan captain, Alfredo de Brix showed his satisfaction for his team’s high level of tennis but was cautious when analyzing the clash with Brazil.
“The girls played very well today. The debut is very difficult and it takes a lot to start performing well. Brazil is, in theory, a better team than us but being the local team can sometimes be a handicap if not properly managed. We need to cope with the pressure,” said de Brix.
Colombia prevails in tough contest
Despite being clear favourites, Colombia had serious difficulties in beating a Venezuelan team that fought very intensely in each of the three rubbers.
The experienced Catalina Castano had to give her best to overcome the surprising resistance of Gabriela Paz 76(15) 75 in 2 hours 50 minutes of intense tennis that delighted the crowd.
“It’s been a very tough match. Luckily, I have been very strong mentally and managed to get the win. It’s the first time that I play such a long tie-break,” declared the 33-year-old player.
The second match saw Mariana Duque Marino seal the tie with a more comfortable win over Andrea Gamiz 62 62. Colombia completed the 3-0 after winning the doubles rubber, although Castano and Duque Marino needed to come from a set down against Gamiz and Adriana Perez, eventually winning 67(5) 60 60.
Colombian captain delighted with start
Colombia’s captain Pablo Gonzalez was very happy with his team’s performance and highlighted the importance of a good start in the tournament.
“We played a very difficult team. Catalina´s match was really difficult and it was a very important point for us because of the confidence that it could give us. That victory is an excellent fuel for the matches ahead,” Gonzalez said.
Colombia are back in action on Tuesday against Bolivia, while Venezuela have a rest day.
Click the link below for more information about Americas Zone Group I, including individual results from each tie.
- Americas Zone Group I