There was some historic success this past week for VI Tennis in El Salvador at the highly competitive pre-qualifying rounds of the Junior Davis Cup. The three young Virgin Islands tennis players made a strong showing, winning the consolation division against Bahamas in the finals (2-1), placing 9th of 16th overall. Tomas Del Olmo, 15 of St. John anchored the team, winning 5 of his 6 singles matches. Alec Kuipers, 13 and Russell Armstrong, 14 of St. Croix also had some singles wins and some key doubles wins which advanced the team to their final position. “The VI Tennis Association congratulates the team for an outstanding performance-this is the highest we’ve ever placed in this event,” said Bill McComb, President of the Association.
“The boys worked hard and were true competitors this week,” said Captain Kevin Motta, who is known to the kids he coaches as “The Motta-vator.” “The boys really enjoyed meeting kids from all over Central America and the Caribbean- they especially enjoyed meeting the boys from Cuba, super humble, nice kids,” he added.
There were 16 teams from the Caribbean and Central America in the tournament. The final standings of the tournament in order, were as follows: Aruba, Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Cuba, El Salvador, Curacao, US Virgin Islands, Bahamas, Jamaica, Panama, Bermuda, Barbados, Honduras and Nicaragua. Aruba will now advance to compete in the final qualifying round in Boca Raton, Florida for North and Central America before advancing to the final Junior Davis Cup to be held in September in Madrid, Spain where only 16 teams from all over the world compete.
The teams were all hosted by the event and were all housed and provided meals at the “all inclusive” sports complex, the “Complejo Deportive Ciudad Merliot La Libertad” in San Salvador. Running parallel to the Junior Davis Cup was the Junior Fed Cup for the girls divisions.
Alec Kuipers and Russell Armstrong will also compete in the 14 and under age category at the ITF World Tennis Championships in the Dominican Republic in March.