Jessica Yamada victorious over Ligia Silva
Photo By: Ricardo Ramos
2011 ITTF-Latin America Cup
Jessica Yamada, 21 years old, from the Itaim Keiko Club in Săo Paulo caused the biggest upset at the quarter-final stage of the Women’s Singles event when she beat 30 year old Ligia Silva, the no.2 seed and for the past decade Brazil’s leading female player, in a tension packed seven games duel.
In a contest that captivated the crowd in the Maracanăzinho Indoor Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Jessica Yamada kept her nerve at the crucial stage of proceedings to secure victory.
She won 11-13, 11-6, 11-7, 9-11, 11-9, 6-11, 11-8.
A shock win or was it?
“Before this match, I’d beaten Ligia the last four times we have played”, smiled Jessica Yamada. “I had a lot of supporters here, my family, my friends and the players from my club were all here to support me.”
However, when the players changed ends in the seventh game, the odds seemed to be in favour of Ligia Silva.
She led 5-2, Jessica Yamada levelled at 5-all with the contest attracting more and more applause from the crowd; every success from Jessica Yamada was greeted with a vocal cry.
At 8-all it was parity; returning service with topspin from the backhand and confident in the rallies, Jessica Yamada moved into a 10-8 lead; then fortune, a backhand from Jessica Yamada clipped the top of the net, un-returnable, victory was in the hands.
“We know each other really well and when she attacks after the service with her forehand she’s very good”, said Jessica Yamada. “At 5-2 down in the seventh I had to be strong in my mind, I didn’t want to let my supporters down.”
Success for Yadira Silva
Meanwhile, in the counterpart Women’s Singles quarter-final it was success for Mexico’s Yadira Silva.
She beat Guatemala’s Andrea Estrada 11-9, 12-10, 11-8, 11-6.
Yadira Silva was the more consistent of the two players; her forehand the dominant stroke; except when leading 10-9 in the second game, flashed at high ball and it flew long.
However, Andrea Estrada stuck to her task and when staying close to table was able to force errors from the Mexican; also when she could play her first forehand the rally with topspin towards the backhand of Yadira Silva, she enjoyed success.
It was a brave effort from the Guatemalan but at the crucial stages, Yadira Silva held to aces.
In the semi-finals, the Dominican Republic’s Wu Xue, the top seed, meets Colombia’s Paula Medina, the no.3 seed; whilst Yadira Silva, the no.4 seeds confronts Jessica Yamada.