by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
The leading name in the Junior Girls’ Singles event, she is the most travelled when compared with her nearest rival.
Additional to competing in the premier tournament of the year, one of the youngest players on duty in the German city, being only 15 years old, Lucia Cordero was also in action at the recent Pan American Junior Championships and the Argentina Junior and Cadet Open.
On both occasions, as well as gaining experience, she proved a worthy competitor but it was on her first appearance of the year that she enjoyed the greatest success. Competing on home soil in Guatemala City, she won the Junior Girls’ Singles title at the Central American Junior and Cadet Championships.
Somewhat conversely, for Ishana Deb of the United States, she has been absent from international tournaments for some eight months; her most recent previous outing being last December at the United States Open in Las Vegas.
However, she is a major challenger for honours; in 2015 she reached the semi-final stage of the Cadet Girls’ Singles event at the Swedish Junior and Cadet Open, eventually losing to Russia’s Elina Rub but note two names she beat en route. She accounted for Puerto Rico’s Adriana Diaz and Sweden’s Ellen Holmsten; both very creditable performances.
Two notable names from foreign shores and in the Junior Girls’ Singles event, there are two notable names from the host nation. Keren Constanza and Monica Mendoza are the respective third and fourth highest rated girls on duty in San Salvador.
Impressively, earlier this year Keren Constanza reached the semi-final stage of the Junior Girls’ Singles at the Central American Junior and Cadet Championships, a tournament in which Monica Mendoza advanced to the quarter-final round.
Likewise, at last year’s El Salvador Junior and Cadet Open, both excelled in the Cadet Girls’ Singles competition; Keren Constanza reached the semi-finals, Monica Mendoza departed one round earlier.
The player to beat Monica Mendoza one year ago, it was a certain Lucia Cordero; perhaps for the Guatemalan in 2017 a chance to turn the tables?