Perfect Response, Alicia Cote Recovers to Cause Opening Round Upset
Courtesy of ITTF
A somewhat surprise defeat in the group stage of the Girls’ Singles event at the 2016 Panam Junior Championships in the Canadian city of Burnaby on Saturday June 25th, the host nation’s Alicia Cote gave the perfect response.
Later in the day, she emerged the player to cause the biggest upset in the opening round.
Stung by an unexpected defeat at the hands of the Dominican Republic’s Kircia Diaz (11-9, 11-6, 11-8); the 16 year old, who had been on duty the previous day in the ITTF-North America Cup, accounted for Puerto Rico’s Lineris Rivera, the no.7 seed, in a full distance seven games encounter (11-3, 7-11, 11-7, 7-11, 11-9, 1-11, 11-4).
Defeat for one notable name but for the other seeded players required to compete in the opening round of the Girls’ Singles event, it was success but not without some nervous moments; especially for Brazil’s Alexia Nakashima.
Occupying the no.6 seeded position in the competition; she had to withstand a brave recovery mounted by Canada’s Joyce Xu, eventually succeeding by the very minimal margin in the deciding seventh game (11-7, 11-9, 11-9, 4-11, 5-11, 2-11, 11-9).
Difficult times for Alexia Nakashima; life was less testing for Angela Guan of the United States, the no.5 seed and Peru’s Janina Nieto, the no.8 seed.
Angela Guan used her defensive skills to good effect to beat the Dominican Republic’s Esmerlyn Castro (11-8, 11-8, 11-5, 11-3); Janina Nieto put her left handed top spin skills to good use to overcame Brazil’s Daniela Yano (2-11, 11-8, 11-5, 11-8, 11-8).
Direct Entry to Second Round
Puerto Rico’s Adriana Diaz and Crystal Wang of the United States, alongside the Brazilian pairing of Bruna Takahashi and Leticia Nakada, being the top four names, received direct entries to the second round.
Likewise for Argentina’s Horacio Cifuentes and Kanak Jha of the United States, the top two seeds, they were not required to compete in the opening round of the Boys’ Singles event. In a similar vein their quest starts in round two.
Notable Names Succeed
However, the remaining leading names, who had received a direct entry to the main draw, were on duty and they were successful.
Alas for the host nation, it was Canadian players who suffered time and again.
Brazil’s Gustavo Yokota, the no.3 seed, beat David Hong Lin (11-6, 11-4, 11-6, 11-4); Argentina’s Francisco Sanchi, the no.4 seed, defeated Guo Moxi (11-3, 11-4, 11-9, 11-7), while Mexico’s Ricardo Villa and Jack Wang of the United States, the next two names in the order of merit, followed suit.
Likewise against Canadian adversaries, Ricardo Villa accounted for Alexander Bu (11-8, 4-11, 7-11, 11-2, 11-3, 11-9); Jack Wang overcame George Wang Chen (11-7, 11-5, 11-7, 11-8). Success for Jack Wang, it was the same for compatriot, Sharon Alguetti; the no.8 seed, he ended the hopes of Edward Ly (7-11, 11-6, 11-3, 11-6, 12-10).
It was not the best of fortunes for the host nation; however, there was one shining light.
Jeremy Hazin, the no.7 seed, like Alicia Cote on duty the previous day for Canada at the 2016 ITTF North America Cup, made an ideal start to his campaign.
He accounted for Peru’s Rodrigo Hidalgo in four straight games (11-5, 11-9, 11-2, 12-10).
Play in both the Junior Boys’ Singles and Junior Girls’ Singles events, concludes on Sunday June 26th.