The GU17 final between Stefanoni (r) and Azman.

Team USA’s Marina Stefanoni and Christian Capella recorded second and third place finishes, respectively, on finals day of the 2018 Dunlop British Junior Open Sunday, January 7, at Birmingham University in England.

Capella, a 5/8 seed, made a surprise run to the BU11 semifinals that included a quarterfinal upset of a 3/4 seed and falling short in the semifinals 11-8 in the fifth against the top seed. The American secured third place on finals day with a three-game victory against Malaysia’s 3/4 seed. The 2018 British Junior Open marked the first year the tournament included a U11 division.

Top-seeded Stefanoni reached the GU17 final without dropping a game all tournament to set up a rematch against Malaysian two seed Aifa Azman, who defeated Stefanoni in the 2016 GU15 final. Azman held the advantage throughout the final, and despite a third game Stefanoni comeback, the Malaysian claimed the title 11-7, 11-5, 11-9. The result marks Stefanoni’s second career British Junior Open second place finish.

Fifty Americans competed in the 2018 British Junior Open, with five players in each division. Twenty-three of the fifty Americans reached the round of sixteen, and six reached the quarterfinals.

2018 marked the fourth year that Team USA has sent a national team delegation to compete in the British Junior Open.

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