CURITIBA, BRAZIL: The emotional scene of Bettina Fulco and Florencia Molinero hugging at the end of the victory against Colombia summed up the happiness in the Argentine camp after they claimed their third consecutive Fed Cup by BNP Paribas Americas Zone Group I title.
The Argentine team laid the foundations for its victory when Paula Ormaechea, who used all the shots in her weaponry, outgunning Catalina Castaño 62 64 in one hour 28 minutes much to the delight of the packed crowd at the Graciosa Country Club.
“I’m happy because it’s the first time that I’ve done this,” said the talented 20-year-old. “I started really nervously, but after I calmed down I managed to get into the match.”
The win feeds the dream of being No. 1
Ormaechea ended her participation in the week-long event without the loss of a set, which made her more determined to succeed in her professional career. “It’s been a great week,” she added. “I think all this will help me to realise my dream of becoming No. 1 in the world.”
In the second match, Florencia Molinero found the going much more difficult against Mariana Duque Marino, who up until now had been undefeated this week. But after a tough start the Argentine found her best game and started to impose herself, winning 36 62 61 in one hour and 58 minutes.
“I started a little nervous and she [Duque Marino] played really well,” said Molinero. “Fortunately I managed to play better in the second two sets and I could win this tie for my country. It was a perfect week. We played really well and the most important thing of all was that our team spirit helped us through.”
'We know our limits, but we’ll take whoever comes our way'
Argentine captain Fulco, who praised her players, said that the best thing about her team this week had been the performance of her team. “I’m very happy with the level of play we have shown this week,” she said. “We only lost one set in Molinero’s match today. We did a great job as a team so I’m chuffed!”
Fulco is realistic about her country’s chances of reaching World Group II: “We know we still don’t have the team to contest the World Group. For that we need a couple of players inside the Top 100 and at least one in the Top 50. For now we have Gisela Dulko and Paula [Ormaechea], who is rising up the rankings. But equally we are ready to play whoever and make the most of our opportunity.”
Paraguay finish third
On the same day, Paraguay confirmed their position in third place after defeating Canada – the team which was favourite to return to World Group II.
The Paraguayan outfit won 2-0, with victories for the young Montserrat Gonzalez over Marie-Eve Pelletier 26 64 64 and Veronica Cepede overcame Sharon Fichman 62 36 63
Bolivia and Bahamas end on a low
In the relegation play-offs, Venezuela and Peru were too good for their opponents, Bahamas and Bolivia respectively.
Venezuela conquered Bahamas 2-0 with Gabriela paz defeating Nikkita Fountain 62 60 and Andrea Gamiz finished 64 62 against Simone Pratt.
Peru saw off Bolivia by the same scoreline. The up-and-coming Patricia Ku defeated Nabila Farah 60 63 and Bianco Botto did the same to Noelia Zeballos 62 62.
Bahamas and Bolivia are relegated to Americas Zone Group II, while Venezuela and Peru stay in Group I.
Click the link below for more information about Americas Zone Group I, including individual results from each tie.
- Americas Zone Group I