By RENALDO DORSETT
JUNIOR tennis players continue their regional play as focus shifts to the North/Central America and Caribbean Pre-qualifying for the Junior Fed Cup and Davis Cup, following a fifth place finish at the Caribbean World Juniors Pre-qualifying tournament last week.
The Bahamas opened up play in both draws yesterday in El Salvador to commence the tournament which concludes March 23.
In Junior Davis Cup play, the Bahamas swept the US Virgin Islands 3-0, without surrendering a single set in three matches.
In singles play, Joshua Turnquest topped Julian Dipersio 6-2, 7-5 and Shannon Francis won 7-5, 6-1 over Jordan Lawrence.
In doubles, Francis and Justyn Thompson defeated Depersio and Wilbur Williams 6-2, 6-3.
The Junior Fed Cup team did not fare as well as they suffered a 2-1 setback at the hands of Bermuda.
Shaytonya Missick began her singles match with a dominant 6-0 win in the first set over Eva Frazzoni, but fell 6-0, 6-2 in the remaining sets.
Iesha Shepherd won in singles 6-4, 6-3 over Taylor Mcharg, but the duo fell in doubles 6-3, 7-6(1) to Mcharg and Frazzoni.
Junior Fed Cup and Junior Davis Cup by BNP Paribas is an international team competition for girls and boys respectively in the 16 and under age category.
Nations enter regional qualifying events with the winners progressing to the finals where they compete to be crowned champion.
In 2013, the finals will be held in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, September 24-29, with 16 nations battling it out for glory.
Junior Davis Cup by BNP Paribas is also contested at the same time.
According to its website, the Junior Fed Cup and Junior Davis Cup by BNP Paribas were launched by the ITF in 1985 as the 16-and-under World Youth Cup, and rebranded in 2002.
BNP Paribas has been the title sponsor of the Junior Davis Cup since 2002, before going on to sponsor Junior Fed Cup in 2005.
The finals have been held in 14 countries in the competition’s 29-year history, and this year will return to La Loma Centro Deportivo in San Luis Potosi, which previously hosted the event in 2008-11.
Last year’s Junior Davis Cup and Junior Fed Cup champions were Italy boys’ team and USA girls’ team.