by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
In the penultimate round the two pairs meet, whilst in the opposite half of the draw, Brazil’s Eric Jouti and Gui Lin, the top seeds, oppose Canada’s Marko Medjugorac and Zhang Mo, the no.3 seeds.
Success for Vitor Ishiy and Gaston Alto in the Men’s Singles event, the top two names on duty, it was very much the same for the remaining leading names in first phase action. Notably, the next two in the pecking order, Cuba’s Jorge Campos and Chile’s Gustavo Gomez duly topped their groups.
However, lower down the list there were surprise names who, by beating the highest rated player in the group, finished in pole positions.
Paraguay’s Axel Gavilan, who had beaten the Dominican Republic’s Emil Santos one day earlier (11-6, 6-11, 8-11, 12-10, 11-6), secured first place in the easiest way possible; he gained a walk-over when due to face the absent Mexican, Salvador Uribe.
Conversely for Colombia’s Joaquim Villegas who, like Axel Gavilan had caused an upset the previous day by overcoming Cuba’s Livan Martinez in four games (12-10, 1-11, 11-8, 11-4), it was a different scenario. In his concluding contest he was beaten by the Dominican Republic’s Isaac Vila in five games (6-11, 11-6, 11-8, 9-11, 11-1); one match earlier Isaac Vila had lost to Livan Martinez in for games (11-4, 11-5, 9-11, 11-9).
Thus games ratio decided the outcome. Joaquim Villegas finished in first place (5:4) ahead of Livan Martinez (4:4) and Isaac Vila (4:5).
Notable performances but as the qualification stage in the Men’s Singles event concluded, the players to catch the eye were Mexico’s Damien Arce, Adar Alguetti of the United States and Argentina’s Martin Bentancor. In their opening contests both beat the leading names in their respective groups.
Damien Arce beat Chile’s Alfonso Olave (6-11, 11-9, 11-4, 11-9) prior to defeating El Salvador’s Samuel Enrique Alfonso (11-8, 11-9, 11-4). Likewise, Adar Alguetti accounted for Guatemala’s Kevin Montufar (11-6, 11-7, 11-8), before overcoming Aruba’s Jeandry Mathilda (11-3, 11-5, 11-3). Meanwhile, Martin Bentancor overcame Nicholas Tito of the United States (11-8, 11-6, 6-11, 11-7) and then secured top spot by ending the hopes of El Salvador’s Julio Calderon (11-5, 10-12, 11-8, 11-7).
Defeats for the highest rated in their respective groups but all eventually finished in second places and thus advanced to the main draw; thus it was progress for Emil Santos, Livan Martinez, Alfonso Olave, Kevin Montufar and Nicholas Tito.
The early rounds of the Men’s Singles event will be completed on Saturday 16th September.