TWO days after Trinidad and Tobago teammate Luca Shamsi struck gold in the Casely International Tennis Championship, Kale Dalla Costa stepped up in class to earn a silver medal in another tournament in the series Wednesday in Pembroke Pines, Florida, USA.
After winning two matches in straight sets, the 13-year-old was beaten 6-0, 6-3 in the 16 & under final by Brazilian Rafael Leesa.
Dalla Costa, who reached the semi-finals in his first of two outings in his age group (14 & under) last week, had a bye in the first round and then defeated Brazilian Andre Sampio 6-2, 7-6 (7/2) in the quarter-finals, before trouncing Manuel Londoro of Colombia 6-1, 6-1 in the last four.
Despite not being in the original field in “Casely” tournaments, players are allowed to get in the second and final day to compete in the “back draw.”
After losing in the first round in the 14 & under qualifying draw for the prestigious Orange Bowl Junior Championships nearly in Plantation last Sunday, Dalla Costa got into the 16 & under “back draw” and ended up beating Barbadian Neil King 4-2, 4-1 in Tuesday’s final.
Shamsi, who ended up winning the main title in that tournament without dropping a set, stepped up to the 18 & under division the day after and reached the quarters.
The Tranquillity Open quarterfinalist brushed Luke Olliviere of Barbados 6-1, 6-1 in the first round, before going down 6-3, 6-1 to Brazilian Filipe Biscaro.
Shamsi did not bother with the “back draw”, but compatriot Jordane Dookie ended up capturing the girls’ 18 & under equivalent title. The 14 & under player was beaten 6-1, 6-2 in the first round of the main draw by Brazilian Manuela Louza, but came back the following day (Wednesday) to win twice.
Dookie earned the bronze medal in the main draw of her age-group in her first tournament last week and then reached the quarters before a first-round exit in “Orange Bowl” qualifying.
“Orange Bowl” is one of the biggest junior competitions in the world after the four junior Grand Slam events – Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and United States Open.