27 Aug 2016

Suffering defeat and then returning to win the vital match to secure victory for your team takes character, at the El Salvador Junior and Cadet Open staged in the country’s capital city of San Salvador, no player did that better than Puerto Rico’s Nicole Malave.

Partnering Guatemala’s Lucia Cordero, she was the player who secured the vital wins to claim the top step of the podium in the Cadet Girls’ Team event on Friday 26th August.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

At the semi-final stage against Ecuador, after losing to Viviam Ruiz in the second match of the fixture (11-7, 11-4, 7-11, 13-11), she recovered to beat Mylena Plaza in the deciding fifth match of the engagement (11-3, 11-9, 12-10).

Later in the final, she repeated the feat only this time in a much more dramatic manner.

After experiencing defeat at the hands of Gabriela Suarez in the opening match of the fixture against El Salvador ‘A’ (8-11, 11-9, 11-5, 11-8); in the crucial fifth and deciding contest she accounted for Keren Constanza in five games contest decided by the very minimal two point margin (8-11, 11-6, 11-4, 6-11, 13-11).

Lucia Cordero

Nicole Malave, the heroine but great credit must go to Lucia Cordero.

Against Ecuador she beat both Mylena Plaza (11-7, 9-11, 7-11, 11-5, 11-4) and Viviam Ruiz (11-3, 11-7, 11-7); in opposition to El Salvador ‘A’, she overcame Keren Constanza (13-11, 10-12, 11-9, 11-8) partnered Nicole Malave to doubles success (11-3, 11-4, 19-17) prior to losing to Gabriela Suarez (11-2, 11-4, 11-8).

The one further win for Ecuador was secured in the doubles, with Mylena Plaza and Viviam Ruiz in the doubles (13-11, 11-9, 9-11, 11-9).

Gabriela Suarez

Most certainly, fine performances from Nicole Malave and Lucia Cordero; however, great credit must also go to Gabriela Suarez. She remained unbeaten throughout and was the major reason why El Salvador ‘A’ reached the final.

At the semi-final stage against El Salvador ‘B’, she accounted for both Monica Mendoza (9-11, 9-11, 11-5, 11-8, 11-5) and Melissa Mendoza (11-6, 11-9, 11-9), whilst also partnering Keren Constanza to doubles success in a three-two victory.

Less dramatic

Success for Guatemala and Puerto Rico in the Cadet Girls’ Team event, in the counterpart Cadet Boys’ Team competition it was success for Ecuador and Paraguay but in rather less dramatic circumstances.

Paraguay’s Elias Apud and Ecuador’s Bryan Escobar emerged as the champions with, as in the Cadet Girls’ Team event, the host nation having to settle for the silver medal.

Bryan Escobar

Man of the moment was Bryan Escobar; he remained unbeaten throughout the whole event being pivotal to success in the final.

After a three-nil penultimate round success was posted against the Costa Rica ‘A’ Team duo of Alfredo Sanchez and Ricardo Azofeifa; Brian Escobar beat both Enzo Leiva (11-3, 11-7, 11-3) and Cidenim Martinez (11-3, 11-5, 8-11, 11-6) whilst teaming with Elias Apud to secure the doubles (11-5, 11-5, 11-9).

El Salvador ‘A’

The one win for the hosts was recorded by Cidenim Martinez, in the second match of the fixture, he overcame Elias Apud in straight games but with every game the same, the vital two point margin being the small difference (12-10, 12-10, 12-10).

In the counterpart semi-final Enzo Leiva and Cidenim Martinez accounted for the Costa Rica ‘B’ Team partnership of José Perez and Juan Trejos.

Play continues with the individual events, matters conclude on Sunday 28th August.

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World Junior Circuit El Salvador Junior and Cadet Open Lucia Cordero Nicole Malave