The CNMI’s Tammy Ackerman survived a more than two-hour match against Sri Lanka’s Medhira Samarasinghe to help Pacific Oceania clinch the finals win in the 2015 Junior Fed Cup Asia/Oceania Pre Qualifying last Sunday in Kuching, Malaysia.
Ackerman pulled off a tough 6-4, 7-5 victory over Samarasinghe in their singles 2 game to give Pacific Oceania the decisive 2-0 lead in the finale. Earlier in the singles 1 game, Fiji’s Mulan Kamoe topped Janali Manaperi, 6-1, 6-2, to boost Pacific Oceania’s bid and the former went on to complete the sweep after teaming up with Palau’s Ayana Rengiil in beating Manaperi and Rukshika Wijesuriya, 6-1, 6-1.
Ackerman’s pivotal win over Samarasinghe was recorded after they played for two hours and 12 minutes, the longest match in the finale. Kamoe dispateched Manaperi in one hour and 22 minutes, while the doubles game was the shortest played at one hour and 10 minutes.
Pacific Oceania’s triumph over Sri Lanka completed the former’s two upset wins in the 14-team tournament. Ackerman and company were seeded fourth in the competition and made a killing in Group A of the pool play after ruling their division and beating top-ranked Singapore. They then made it to the semifinals and shut down Iran, 3-0, to arrange a final duel with Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka was the No. 2 seed in the tournament and marched into the finals after edging Singapore in the other semis pairing, 2-1.
Both Pacific Oceania and Sri Lanka will represent Asia/Oceania in the main draw of the final qualifier for the Junior Fed Cup World Finals in Australia in April this year. In Land Down Under tournament, only the Top 4 teams will earn tickets to the Junior Fed Cup World Finals.
Pacific Oceania was captained by Vanuatu’s Andrew Mailtorock and posted a game winning percentage of 72.5 for taking 37 games and dropping only 14 and prevailing in all six sets.
In pool play, Pacific Oceania registered 69.7 percent for clinching 108 games and losing only 47. It won 17 sets and lost only two for a set percentage of 89.5. The squad played two three-set matches and both of them involved Ackerman. The Commonwealth netter fell to Singapore’s Charmaine Seah, 2-6, 6-3, 2-6, in the pool play, but delivered in an all-important game against Iran, slipping past Yasmin Mansouri, 2-6, 6-4, 6-2, to bring Pacific Oceania to the finals and seal its spot to the last qualifier.
Ackerman compiled a 4-1 record in the tournament and logged 9-3 (sets won/loss) and 61-37 records (games won/loss). She earned her other wins against players from Turkmenistan and Kyrgystan.