By RENALDO DORSETT
A PAIR of young Bahamian tennis stars have earned trips to the semi-finals and moved one step closer to a tournament title against some of the top players in their age group within the region.
Donte Armbrister and Sydney Clarke have each advanced to the semi-finals in their respective main draws at the Under-14 JITIC Tournament in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
Armbrister defeated Frederick Sydow of Aruba to advance and is scheduled to face Fabian Taracena of Guatemala this morning with a berth to the final on the line.
Clarke defeated Valeria Dubon of Puerto Rico in her quarter-final, and is slated to face Romary Cardenas of Mexico today.
Armbrister was seeded sixth in the qualifying round before he defeated Samuel Dickson of the Dominican Republic 5-3, 4-0 and Alec Kuipers of the US Virgin Islands 5-3, 4-2 to advance to the main draw.
In the main draw, he opened with a win over Santiago Padilla of Guatemala 6-1, 7-5 and went on to oust Luis Jager of Dominican Republic 6-3, 4-6, 6-4.
Clarke had a similar path to the final as she entered the qualifying round ranked fifth. She defeated Ana Jaramillo of Curacao 4-1, 4-2 to advance to the main draw and went on to win over Jenner Harrison of Jamaica 5-4 (9-7), 4-0, Natalie Sartos of Honduras 4-1, 4-0, and Valentina Cruz of El Salvador 7-6 (7-4), 3-6, 6-1.
Also in competition today, in the girls’ consolation bracket, Sydni Kerr is set to face Katia Ramirez of El Salvador and Elena Mackey is up to take on Daniela Galvez of Guatemala.
Mackey advanced to the main draw with a 4-2, 4-2 win over Chloe Cantare of Haiti and went on to defeat Andrea Salazar of Nicaragua 4-0, 4-0.
She was relegated to the consolation bracket when she lost to Dubon 1-4, 0-4 and went on to beat Valentina Cruz of El Salvador 7-6 (7-4), 3-6, 6-1.
Kerr defeated Lily Lanser of Trinidad and Tobago 4-1, 4-0 but in the main draw lost to Kaylah Ming of Bermuda 4-2, 0-4, 11-9.
In the consolation bracket, she lost to Nathalie Hernandez of Guatemala 1-4, 1-4 and Sofia Jaramillo of Curacao 0-4, 1-4.
Emma Weech lost in qualifying to the third seeded Sofia Correa of Guatemala 2-4, 0-4, to Maria Aguiar of Puerto Rico 0-4, 0-4, to Zima Osorio of Curacao 5-3, 2-4, 3-10 and to Lily Lanser 0-4, 4-2 (8-10).
In doubles play today, Clarke and Kerr are slated to face the duo of Cardenas and Harrison, while Mackey and Weech are scheduled to face Fernanda Lopez and Nathalia Santos of Honduras.
Clarke and Kerr defeated players from Haiti and Nicaragua in the first round of the main draw 6-1, 6-4 while Mackey and Weech lost to a pair from El Salvador.
In the boys’ draw, Trenton Fowler lost to the No.1 seed in the qualifying round, Sebastian Dominquez of Guatemala 0-4, 0-4 and followed with a loss to Juan Ortiz of Nicaragua 1-4, 0-4 and to David Castellanos of Dominican Republic 0-4, 0-4. He went on to defeat Valentin Vasquay of Honduras in the consolation bracket 4-2, 4-2.
In doubles play, Armbrister and Fowler lost in the first round 0-6, 1-6 to a pair from Costa Rica.