February 20 - USA 4, Peru 1
In the final Group X tie, USA played host, Peru at 12:00pm. The young USA team was aware that they would be facing a very determined side playing at home complimented by a very vocal crowd. Both Eva Lee and Mesinee Mangkalakiri have played at the Regatas Club many times. They felt that it would be fun and provide new experience for some of the younger team members.
In first singles, Rena Wang took on very experienced Claudia Rivero, another BPAC talent find in 2003 absorbed in the Road To Beijing Project. Rena known for her gritty play was not to be subdued by Claudia's profile. Rena played one of her best performances in the qualifiers. Rena drew first blood beating Claudia 21-10 in the first game. Claudia got back in the second wining 21-10. The rubber was the most exciting match with close rallies and score line. Claudia's experience gave her the edge to overcome the never say die Rena, 22-20. With USA 0-1 down, on court next was Eva Lee. She was taking on Christina Aicardi. Christina took the first game at 21-9 easily. In the see-saw second game, Eva used all her experiences to edge out the younger Christina 25-23. In the rubber, Christina just could not find the consistency of her first game. Eva won the game and match 10-21, 25-23, 21-18. This put USA 1-1 level with Peru. In third singles, Cee Ketpura was in her element again. She took on Alejandra Monteverde. Cee cruised though the first game 21-12. In the second game, Alejandra gave some resistance but Cee was just a little too much for her. Cee took the second game and match 21-12, 21-18.
With 2-1 up, USA was more comfortable with veteran pair Eva Lee/Mesinee Mangkalakiri taking to the courts for first doubles. They played Peru's top pair Claudia Rivero/Christina Aicardi. With their experience and consistency, Eva/Mesinee cruised to a comfortable 21-14, 21-18 victory. Thus, putting USA 3-1 up. The second doubles had the younger USA pair Kuei-Ya Chen/Priscilla Lun against Claudia Zornoza/Katherine Winder. The young
Peruvians did not give up despite the defeat. The match went to three games. The first game was a close one and it went to the Peruvians. USA took the next two games. Kuei-Ya/Priscilla won 19-21, 21-11, 21-15.
It was not only a good win for the young USA team but an enriching experience because they had taken on one of the most exciting teams, Peru. Peru is known to always give its best on home ground.
With the win, USA plays Mexico in the semi-finals at 10:00am today (February 21, 2010)