By BRENT STUBBS
Senior Sports Reporter
TEAM Bahamas’ bid to advance to the Fed Cup Americas Group One was thwarted by the host Peru in the final on Saturday at the Tennis Club Las Terrazas Miraflores in Lima, Peru.
In a showdown between two undefeated teams at the end of the two round robin pool competition, Peru got the better of the Bahamas with a 2-0 decision in the two singles.
By virtue of taking the matches, the doubles was not contested. As a result of their performance, Peru was promoted to Group 1 for 2020 and the Bahamas will remain in Group II as the runners-up.
In Saturday’s finale, player/captain Kerrie Cartwright lost the second singles 6-4, 6-2 to Peru’s Dana Guzman after Danielle Thompson suffered a 6-2, 6-1 decision to Peru’s Anastasia Iamachkibe in the first singles.
Cartwright fell in two
The 27-year-old Cartwright, now in her eighth year as a member of the Davis Cup team, said it was tough to come back after watching Peru take the opener against Thompson.
“It was a great match. I really tried everything I could do possible to try and change things up,” said Cartwright after she eventually lost 6-4, 6-2 to Peru’s Dana Guzman.
Cartwright, however, said the support in the stands was tremendous, especially from those who made the trek from the Bahamas.
“Peru was just after us, but we came out strong and that’s what matters,” she stated. “Next year, we coming out harder.”
In the opening match of the day, 24-year-old Danielle Thompson, playing for the third year in the competition, said she gave it all she had, but fell short in the end, losing 6-2, 6-1 to Anastasia Iamachkibe.
“It was a tough loss. I did the very best I could. It was hard for me to find my rhythm,” Thompson said.
“In the end, the girl was able to be a little more consistent than I was. But I left it all out there for you guys.”
Team Bahamas completed Pool B with a perfect 2-0 win-loss record, winning five of their six matches played.
In their opener on Wednesday, Team Bahamas took apart Barbados 3-0 as Danielle Thompson won 6-0, 6-0 over Melina lopez and Kerrie Cartwright duplicated the feat over Tangia Riley-Codrington.
The doubles team of Sydney Clarke and Sierra Donaldson, both 18-year-olds making their second and fifth Fed Cup appearances respectively, held on for a 7-5, 6-7 (7), 7-5 win over Melina Lopez and Chloe Weekes.
That turned out to be an historic moment for the Bahamas as it was the most games in a single rubber match that the Bahamas has ever played.
And in their second round robin match to get into the final, Team Bahamas held off Trinidad & Tobago 2-1. Danielle Thompson lost her opening match 7-6 (7), 67-5 to Breana Stampfli and Kerrie Cartwright made quick work of Anya King 6-0, 6-0.
It came down to the doubles where the combo of Kerrie Cartwright and Sierra Donaldson prevailed with a 6-1, 4-6, 6-3 decision over Annieiesa Rose and Breana Stampfli.
Peru and Dominican
Peru finished with the identical 2-0 record as the Bahamas in winning Group A with their 3-0 sweep over Panama and 2-1 edge over Bolivia in their round robin play. Peru will join Venezuela in getting promoted to Group One next year.
At the same time at the Centro Nacional de Tenis in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Venezuela came back to beat Guatemala 2-1 to clinch their berth.
The other teams that played in their tie were Uruguay, Cuba and the Dominican Republic.
Since playing in the Fed Cup from 1990, the Bahamas has reached to Group One seven times in 1993 and 1994, 2002 and 2003, 2009, 2012 and 2014.
The Bahamas went into the tie ranked at No. 62 with 386.25 points right behind Cuba, but will eventually move up the ladder as a result of its runner-up position against Peru in the final.
The BLTA expressed its gratitude to Faye and Florie for beautifully outfitting the team’s uniforms and the Bahamas Olympic Committee for their support in getting the team to Peru.