by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
In a closely contested full distance five games duel, only 12 years of age, she accounted for the host nation’s Gabriela Romero, the no.5 seed (11-7, 6-11, 11-9, 10-12, 11-7), before securing top spot in the group courtesy of success against Costa Rica’s Amanda Garro (11-6, 11-6, 11-4).
Defeat for Gabriela Romero but there was a degree of consolation; in the opening match she had beaten Amanda Garro (11-4, 11-8, 11-5) and thus secured second place in the group. Players finishing in first and second positions in each of the eight groups advanced to the main draw.
Problems for Gabriela Romero, not for the top names, all reserved first places in the respective groups without due alarm.
Guatemala’s Lucia Cordero and Ishana Deb of the United States alongside the El Salvadorian pairing of Keren Constanza and Monica Mendoza ended the day in first place in their respective groups. Respective second positions were secured by the host nation’s Cecilia Orantes, Puerto Rico’s Kassandra Maldonado, Guatemala’s Lourdes Berreondo and Fabiola Diaz, like Kassandra Maldonado also from Puerto Rico.
Meanwhile, in the remaining three groups where no player with a current or recent world ranking was involved; it was pole position for El Salvador’s Dinora Salazar, Guatemala’s Mercedes Mendizabel and Mexico’s Monica Muñoz. Second places were clinched by the El Salvador duo of Michele Quinteros and Camila Villalta as well as Mexico’s Monica Muñoz.
The opening round and quarter-finals of the Junior Girls’ Singles event will be played on Saturday 19th August; the semi-finals and final on Sunday 20th August.