27 Apr 2017

Third place in the group, in the Under 21 Women’s Singles event at the 2017 ITTF Challenge Slovenia Open in Otocec, it had not been the best of fortunes for Puerto Rico’s Melanie Diaz, perhaps she missed the bright sunshine and the 30 degrees celcius plus hot weather of the Caribbean.

However, in the Women’s Singles event, it was a different story; the 20 year old upset the odds.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

Presently listed at no.249 on the Women’s World Rankings, after having accounted for Bulgaria’s Krasimira Yovkova in her opening contest the previous day (11-7, 7-11, 10-12, 12-10, 11-5, 11-8), she excelled expectations to overcame Russia’s Ekaterina Guseva, listed at no.124 and the highest rated player in the group (11-4, 9-11, 11-8, 6-11, 11-1, 11-7).

Success for Melanie Diaz who is the eldest of four sisters; Gabriela, Adriana and Fabiola being the next in the age order, the exploits of Adriana being well known. All are guided by their father, Bladimir whilst mother, Marangely is a lawyer.

“I felt a little nervous as this was the first time I had the opportunity to qualify to the main draw, I´ve never been able to achieve that in the past and I was really looking forward. Guseva is a very good player and I have never beaten her before, this may be the most important victory of my career so far. I am feeling confident and at the same time very excited to see who will be my next opponent. Thanks to the special connection that I have with my father who is also my coach, I feel that I have improved a lot mentally and together with Adriana we are a very united table tennis family. ” Melanie Diaz

Success for Melanie Diaz, for younger sister, Adriana, 16 years old, her campaign starts on Friday 29th April; she is the no.16 seed.

Challenge Series 2017 Slovenian Open Melanie Diaz Ekaterina Guseva

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