14 Oct 2018

Winner at the Europe Youth Top 10 just over one month ago in Vila Real; once again Cristian Pletea was very much centre stage, as play commenced in the Mixed Team event at the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games on the morning of Saturday 17th October.

He was pivotal to Romanian success. The no.9 seeds, they overcame the United States, the no.5 seeds, by two matches to one in contest between two very evenly matched teams; his win in opposition to Kanak Jha, Men’s Singles bronze medallist three days ago, endorsing that fact.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

After Andreea Dragoman had lost to Amy Wang (11-5, 10-12, 11-5, 13-11), Cristian Pletea levelled matters by overcoming Kanak Jha by the narrowest of decisions (10-12, 11-6, 11-7, 12-14, 12-10). The win swayed the momentum of the contest inexorably in favour of Romania; the doubles was secured in straight games (11-5, 11-9, 11-5).

“It’s a great victory, now we will be first in our group and have a better chance for a good draw and for a medal. It was a tough match, Andreea lost her first match, it was hard for me because if I lose, the match would be over. My match against Kanak, I was up two-one, 9-5, then Kanak got two lucky points and I lost that game but I managed to recover in the fifth game and won my match. We played unbelievable in the doubles.” Cistian Pletea

“We now hope to have a good draw and we will fight for a medal.” Andreea Dragoman

Success contrary to seeding for Romania; it was the same for Brazil’s Guilherme Teodoro and Bruna Takahashi. The no.11 seeds, they recorded a three-nil win in opposition to Egypt’s Youssef Abdel-Aziz and Marwa Alhodaby, the no.8 seeds. Bruna Takahashi gave her team the ideal start by beating Marwa Alhodaby (11-3, 11-5, 11-7), before Guilherme Teodoro accounted for Youssef Abdel-Aziz (11-6, 11-9, 11-5) and a four games doubles success (4-11, 11-7, 11-6, 12-10) brought matters to an end.

The wins mean that both Romania and Brazil maintained their unbeaten records and can look forward to competing in the main draw; it is the same for Azerbaijan’s Yu Khinhang and Ning Jing as it is for Russia’s Vladimir Sidorenko and Mariia Tailakova.

Yu Khinhang and Ning Jing, the no.22 seeds, recorded a three-nil win in opposition to the combination of Argentina’s Santiago Lorenzo and San Marino’s Chiarri Morri, the no.26 seeds; Vladimir Sidorenko and Mariia Tailakova, the no.21 seeds, prevailed against the pairing which comprised Rohit Pagarani of Belize and Slovakia’s Tatiana Kukulkova, the 27 seeds. A two-one victory margin was the order of proceedings with Tatiana Kukulkova being the player to cause problems; in the opening match of the fixture, she beat the in-form Mariia Tailiakova (11-6, 11-13, 5-11, 11-4, 11-5).

Meanwhile, for India’s Manav Vikash Thakkar and Archana Girish Kamath, the no.6 seeds, beaten three-nil by Yu Khinhang and Ning Jing, the previous day, it was a return to winning ways. They recorded a three-nil win in opposition to the French pairing of Bastien Rembert and Lucie Gauthier, the no.12 seeds.

Similarly, for the Latin American combination of Chile’s Nicolas Burgos and Puerto Rico’s Adriana Diaz, it was recovery time. After the previous day experiencing a two-one defeat against Vladimir Sidorenko and Mariia Tailakova; they reversed the decision against Thailand’s Yanapong Panagitgun and Jinnipa Sawettabut, the no.10 seeds.

Crucially, in the opening match of the fixture, Adriana Diaz beat Jinnipa Sawettabut by the very narrowest of margins (11-9, 8-11, 11-5, 5-11, 11-9), before Yanapong Panagitgun overcame Nicolas Burgos to level matters (11-3, 8-11, 11-9, 11-5, 11-7). Parity, the doubles decided; the verdict went in favour of the host continent. Nicolas Burgos and Adriana Diaz, ever more in tune, recorded a straight games win (12-10, 11-6, 11-7).

“I think the match was very good, I started my match a little slow but I started playing better and became more confident. I’m very happy that we managed to win in the end, we really played doubles very well. We are friends and even though this is our first time playing Mixed Doubles we play well together. Now I’m feeling very confident and I trust him a lot.” Adriana Diaz

Play in the initial stage of the Mixed Team event concludes later in the day.

Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games Cristian Pletea

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Day 9 - Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games