(by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor)
Turning up the heat, Adriana Diaz ice cool in freezing Stockholm
Sweating palms, tense moments, brought the group stage of the Women’s Singles event, at the qualification tournament for the Seamaster 2017 ITTF World Tour Swedish Open, to a close
Korea’s Lee Zion turned up the heat, Puerto Rico’s Adriana Diaz remained ice cool in freezing Stockholm.
On the evening of Tuesday 14th November Adriana Diaz eventually beat Korea’s Lee Zion in seven games (6-11, 12-10, 11-8, 15-13, 6-11, 7-11, 12-10).
In the decisive seventh game against Lee Zion, playing in a positive manner Adriana Diaz established a 10-7 lead. Continuing in the same fashion trying to play strongly from the backhand, attempting to play down the line but stretching for the ball somewhat, the efforts flew long.
Lee Zion levelled matters but the 17 year old Puerto Rican, now well attuned to the rigours of international play, kept her composure. The next two points and a place in the preliminary round was secured.
“She’s a tough player and it’s always close, we played earlier this year in Belarus and I won four-two. She is fast and consistent; she is strong from the forehand and safe from the backhand, she has good services.” Adriana Diaz
Also, I would suggest Lee Zion is making notable progress; at last week’s Seamaster 2017 ITTF World Tour Platinum German Open, she reached the quarter-final stage of the Under 21 Women’s Singles event, losing narrowly to Japan’s Miyu Maeda.
One wondered not playing expansively but safely against Adriana Diaz, she might perform a recovery of note; she didn’t achieve the task but she can mightily close.
There is a saying that you should not annoy a player of high quality; seems quite unintentionally that is what Lee Zion did!
“I was really angry with myself when the last game went to 10-all; I hated it but I tried to erase it from my mind. I said to myself start again, start again from zero-zero and win the next two points.” Adriana Diaz
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