by Ian Marshall, Editor
The earlier than expected exit for Chile was not only devastating for the home supporters in the fact that it meant no place on the podium; it was also shattering in that it was a defeat from a winning position.
Judith Morales and Paulina Vega gave Chile the ideal start by beating Daniela Fonseca Carranza and Idalys Lovet in the opening doubles contest (11-7, 12-10, 10-12, 11-5). Immediately following, Daniela Ortega overcame Lisi Castillo (11-7, 11-9, 8-11, 11-8) to double the advantage.
It was at that stage the tide turned. Idaly Lovet accounted for the hitherto unbeaten Paulina Vega (5-11, 11-3, 6-11, 11-4, 11-6), before Lisi Castillo prevailed against Judith Morales (11-4, 12-10, 11-9) and Daniela Fonseca Carranza sealed the recovery with success in opposition to Daniela Ortega (11-6, 11-9, 11-7).
Somewhat similarly, Puerto Rico made a fine start against Canada; Melanie Diaz and Daniely Rios beat Alicia Côté and Ivy Liao (11-13, 11-8, 14-12, 11-2) but that was the sum total of the Caribbean island’s success. Zhang Mo overcame both Adriana Diaz (8-11, 12-10, 11-9, 11-7) and Daniely Rios (11-7, 11-6, 11-5), with sandwiched in between Alicia Côté resisting a spirited recovery by Melanie Diaz to record a crucial five games win (13-11, 11-6, 7-11, 10-12, 11-7).
Upsets, in the remaining quarter-final contests, it was success as status predicted. Brazil, the top seeds, represented by Gui Lin, Bruna Takahashi and Jessica Yamada beat the no.10 seeds, the Dominican Republic trio of Eva Brito, Esmerlyn Castro and Yasiris Ortiz by three matches to nil. Likewise, the United States, the no.2 seeds, fielding the trio comprising Wang Xinyue, Wu Yue and Lily Zhang recorded a three-one win in opposition to the no.6 seeds Argentina’s Camila Arguelles, Ana Codina and Agustina Iwasa.
Just as with Puerto Rico, Argentina made a fine start, Camila Arguelles and Ana Codina accounted for Wang Xinyue and Wu Yue (11-9, 11-9, 9-11, 11-8); alas for the South Americans, they could not build on the advantage. Lily Zhang beat Agustina Iwasa (11-9, 11-6, 11-3); before, after Wang Xinyue had accounted for Ana Codina (11-7, 11-4, 11-6), she returned to the fray to seal a United States win by overcoming Camila Arguelles (11-7, 11-9, 11-9).
Most significantly Brazil, Canada, Cuba and the United States have now sealed places in the 2019 Pan American Games to be staged in Lima, Peru.
At the semi-final stage in Santiago, Brazil meets Canada, Cuba confronts the United States; the Women’s Team event will be played to a conclusion on Thursday 22nd November.