by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
After winning the opening game, she lost the next two and then in the fourth trailed 3-8; it appeared that Gui Lin would very quickly close the door; Eva Brito had other ideas.
She reduced the arrears to one point at 7-8; understandably Hugo Hoyama, the Brazilian coach sitting courtside, called “Time Out”. Surely the break would help halt the momentum of Eva Brito. It proved quite the opposite; she lost just one more point in the fourth game, before in the vital decider winning the first ten points!
“I won the first game 10-8 but then I just played too fast, my mind wandered, I wasn’t focused; when I was down in the fourth I just forgot about the score, played one point at a time and played more consistently. In the fifth game I was totally focused and with my forehand I played with more spin, I played slower. I’ve been practising in Germany at the Top Spin Club in Hieldeberg and that has helped.” Eva Brito
Impressive from Eva Brito; in the corresponding match in the same group, it was success in emphatic fashion for Puerto Rico’s Melanie Diaz; the no.8 seed; she beat Costa Rica’s Angie Araya in three straight games (11-6, 11-4, 11-2)
Success against expectations for Eva Brito; otherwise as play commenced in the Women’s Singles event, it was progress as expected.
The one player required to answer some questions was Colombia’s Paula Medina; she found Peru’s Angela Mori a most worthwhile adversary (12-10, 11-8, 11-8).
“Always, the first match is always difficult; she is good from the backhand; good at creating angles but throughout the match she had problems returning my service, when I served with backspin, she often returned into the net.” Paula Medina
A straight games win for Paula Medina; in the same group, Lily Zhang of the United States made a most positive start; she overcame El Salvador’s Estefania Ramirios without the loss of a single game (11-2, 11-5, 11-7).
Meanwhile, in the remaining two groups, imposing performances were the order of the day
Canada’s Zhang Mo, the top seed, beat Colombia’s Angie Umbacia (11-3, 11-5, 11-7); Wu Yue of the United States, overcame Guatemala’s Angie Estrada (11-2, 11-2, 11-6).
Likewise, Brazil’s Caroline Kumahara, the no.4 seed, defeated Canada’s Alicia Cote (11-9, 11-5, 11-6); Chile’s Paulina Vega proved too strong the Dominican Republic’s Esmerlyn Castro (11-3, 11-9, 11-3).