Three young Virgin Islands tennis players are making a strong showing at the Junior Davis Cup (JDC) in El Salvador this week. Tomas Del Olmo, 15, of St. John has proven himself to be the anchor of the team, earning his number one slot. Alec Kuipers, 13, and Russell Armstrong, 14, of St. Croix are proving to be up-and-coming younger players.
“I’m very pleased to see our young men at such a great event,” said Bill McComb, president of the V.I. Tennis Association, who arranged and sponsored the team. Kevin Motta from St. Croix is the captain.
There are 16 teams from the Caribbean and Central America in the tournament. The first three days, all teams played in groups of four teams. The V.I. team’s group consisted of Guatemala, Cuba and Honduras. The V.I. team ended up in third place defeating Honduras but losing to Guatemala and Cuba. Del Olmo won two of his single matches and lost to the player from Guatemala. Del Olmo and Kuipers won a doubles match against Honduras, which helped give them an overall win. Armstrong and Kuipers played well in both singles and doubles, but it was apparent that the age difference may have affected the outcome of their matches.
By placing third, the V.I. team is in the consolation draw where they won their first round, defeating Bermuda, three matches to none, and they are now in the semi-finals against Jamaica. Against Bermuda, Del Olmo and Armstrong won their singles, and the doubles team of Del Olmo and Kuipers won.
Del Olmo is 15 years old and this is his last year to play, and he is making a great showing. Both Armstrong and Kuipers are younger and this is a great experience for them as they will have two more years of eligibility.
The Virgin Islands team is playing well, and the V.I. can look forward to a strong team for the next two years. The Junior Davis Cup competition is for players 16 and under, and is sponsored by the ITF (International Tennis Federation).
For more information, contact William McComb, president, at 690-0308.
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