BARCELONA, SPAIN: The 2012 Junior Davis Cup and Junior Fed Cup Finals by BNP Paribas came to a fitting conclusion in the early evening on Sunday with a traditional medal ceremony.
The champions -- USA for the girls and Italy for the boys -- were awarded the gold medals. In the Fed Cup, the Russians took the silver medal and Brazil went home with the bronze. In the Davis Cup, Australia won silver and the USA claimed the bronze.
After the medalists were feted -- the girls first and the boys’ second -- and the winning nations’ national anthems were played -- the ceremony concluded with a group of about 30 people forming a human pyramid with two young children at the top, who held up an Italian and U.S. flag.
As it worked out, the Fed Cup competition stayed true to the seeding with the top-seeded USA beating second seeds Russia 3-0 on Sunday to be anointed the 2012 champions. The American amigos won all 14 matches they played throughout the competition.
Taylor Townsend lived up to her expectations as the No. 1 junior girl in the world, winning her singles and pairing with regular doubles partner Gaby Andrews in the doubles. The Townsend and Andrews duo won two Grand Slam titles together this year.
The big surprise for the Americans was 16-year-old Louisa Chirico, joining a USTA team for the first time. Chirico captured all five singles matches she played without even dropping a set. As Gabby Andrews said after their win, “I have a new best friend. Louisa was great to have on the team.”
The Russians were seeded second and that’s how they finished, although they were clearly disappointed to be unable to win any of the three matches they played against the USA on Sunday.
In the third and four place play-off, Brazil took a 2-1 win over Australia to find their way to the medal platform.
The final standings for the Junior Fed Cup: 1st USA, 2nd Russia, 3rd Brazil, 4th Australia, 5th Spain, 6th Germany, 7th Italy, 8th Paraguay, 9th Egypt, 10th South Africa, 11th Latvia, 12th Japan, 13th Mexico, 14th Korea, 15th Belarus, 16th China.
Italy, the second seeds, captured the 2012 Junior Davis Cup title with an exciting 2-1 win over third seeds Australia. The matches went down to the wire, the competitors competed fiercely, and they gathered the attention of a sizable crowd that gravitated to see the two nations battle.
After splitting the singles matches -- Harry Bourchier beating Filippo Baldi 46 76 (2) 10 8 in the first match, Gianluigi Quinzi levelling the encounter by beating Thanasi Kokkinakis 16 60 63. That left it up to the decisive doubles match in which Quinzi and Baldi prevailed over Bourchier and Kokkinakis 60 36 62.
The Australian faltered on Bourchier’s serve in the sixth game of the third set to allow Italy to move ahead 4-2. Kokkinakis was so upset when they lost their serve he couldn’t contain his emotions.
Italy won the next two games to close out the competition for this year.
Top seeds USA went home with the bronze in the Davis Cup after taking an insurmountable 2-0 lead over France earlier in the day.
The final standings for the Junior Davis Cup: 1st Italy, 2nd Australia, 3rd USA, 4th France, 5th Sweden, 6th Russia, 7th Korea, 8th Argentina, 9th Japan, 10th Peru, 11th Spain, 12th China, 13th Brazil, 14th Mexico, 15th Morocco, 16th Egypt.
It seems as if everyone just arrived in Barcelona to play at the Real Club de Polo de Barcelona. But now it is all over for this year. But fear not, another group of talented juniors will be making the scene next year to compete at the 2013 Junior Davis Cup and Junior Fed Cup Finals by BNP Paribas and to make new friends from around the world.