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Brazil dominates semifinals of youth tennis competition

03-23-2012 13:41 BJT

RIO DE JANEIRO, March 22 (Xinhua) -- Out of the four semifinalists to play in the 29th annual Gerdau Cup, an international tennis tournament for athletes 16-year-old and under, three participants are Brazilian.

Rafael Matos, Gabriel Vellinho Hocevar and Marcelo Zormann are the three Brazilians to qualify for the semifinals of the tournament held in Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul.

The only other participant is Colombian native Luis Vallero.

Hocevar is the son of ex-tennis pro Marcos Hocevar, formly ranked as Brazil's best player. Despite his father's example, Gabriel mentioned Brazilian legend Gustavo "Guga" Kuerten as his idol.

Mattos, participating in the tournament for his eighth time, won the event in 2006 while playing in the under-10 category. At the age of 16, this will be his last chance at winning the prestigious youth tournament twice.

In the semifinals, Mattos will face training partner and friend Hocevar on March 23 while Zormann and Vallero will battle for a spot in the finals.

The Gerdau Cup helps to reveal young tennis star's talent and aims at promoting the sport in Brazil and among neighboring countries in South America.

Editor:Wang Lingfei |Source: Xinhua

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