St. Helena tennis twins Allura and Maribella Zamarripa came home with two crowns after winning their first professional singles and doubles titles at the Women’s ITF $15,000 in Bogota, Colombia last week.
It was the last event of a wildly successful 2018 for the sisters, who also won prestigious titles at the Adidas Easter Bowl, USTA International Spring Championships, Panorama International Championships and Canadian Seville International Championships.
On Dec. 7, Allura and Maribella won an all-twins final, 7-5, 6-4 over No. 1 seeds Maria Paulina Perez Garcia and Paula Andrea Perez Garcia of Colombia in front of packed house of Garcia fans.
“There were many volley-to-volley exchanges and exclamations of ‘Vamos’ (Let’s go) and ‘Dale’ (Go ahead) by the Columbian pair after they won points,” said the St. Helena players’ father and coach, Dave Zamarripa. “They were definitely fired up to win, wanting to add another to their four doubles titles in the last couple of years on the women’s professional tour.”
In the exciting battle of sisterhood, the Zamarripa twins quietly made adjustments to the high altitude and blocked out the loud crowd to break the Garcias’ serve at the critical moment at the end of the second set and then serve out the match for the victory.
The event drew Colombia’s elite – including the president of the Columbian Tennis Federation, who was on hand to present the winners’ trophy.
The following day, unseeded Allura Zamarripa – who had advanced to the singles final without dropping a set – took to the red clay against No. 1 seed Andrea Villarreal of Mexico. Both players endured long, creative points – including drop shots, lobs and side-to-side duals – in the balmy, mountainous conditions.
Zamarripa was able to fight off Villarreal’s offensive efforts and produce her best tennis, despite being exhausted from playing both singles and doubles matches all week.
“The climate there is hard on the body, being so high in altitude,” Dave Zamarripa said. “There were definitely adjustments that we had to make in their equipment and training to be ready, including early arrival to acclimate.”
Each set saw Zamarripa take a commanding lead, forcing Villarreal to be more aggressive and take more chances. That led to uncharacteristic errors by Villarreal, who is normally a very steady and controlled player. The match ended with Villarreal sailing a backhand long and a relieved look washing over Zamarripa’s face as she jogged to the net for the traditional handshake and kiss on the cheek after her 6-3, 6-3 victory and first professional singles title.
The twins made their professional tennis debut Sept. 24-29 in Hilton Head, South Carolina.
Allura’s results in South Carolina earned her the No. 1 ranking in singles for girls 16’s in the world and the pair were also ranked No. 1 in the USTA junior national rankings in doubles.
The twins also won another title in October, taking the USTA national level 2 event in Stockton.
The Zamarripa twins will take the rest of the year off to train and prepare for a busy 2019 expected to include more professional events – and hopes to qualify for junior slams such as the French Open, Wimbledon and U.S. Open.