by Ian Marshall, Editor
Adopting very much the tactics that had proved so successful at the semi-final stage against Brazil’s Bruna Takahashi, consistent counter top spin play but in particular following the service with a forehand stroke imparted with heavy rotation and directed towards the body of her adversary, Adriana Diaz dominated the opening game. Simply the Puerto Rican made the very minimal of errors.
Unable to find a rhythm to her play in the opening game, in the second Zhang Mo was more in tune; there was little to choose until 7-all, the stage at which Adriana Diaz gained a two point lead. Fortune somewhat on her side, the game was secured.
Securing the close game added to the Adriana Diaz bank of confidence; in the third game she went ahead 7-3, Zhang Mo reduced the deficit to 8-6 but never came closer, unforced errors cost her dearly, Adriana Diaz held a three games to nil lead.
A response was needed from Zhang Mo, it came in the next game; she established a 6-1 lead. Adriana Diaz reduced the arrears to one point at 9-8; Zhang Mo called “Time Out”, the break worked in her favour.
Now a response was needed from Adriana Diaz, it came in the most positive manner possible, in the fifth game she established a 10-4 lead, Zhang Mo won the next point. Adriana Diaz called “Time Out”, two further game points were saved before success was gained.
The defeat experienced in the Women’s Team event earlier in the tournament against Zhang Mo was avenged (8-11, 12-10, 11-9, 11-7); more significantly, Adriana Diaz added to the 2018 ITTF Pan American Junior Girls’ Singles title won earlier this year in Santo Domingo.
Now the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima awaits but for now, time to celebrate, two titles in one day, earlier she partnered Brian Afanador the Mixed Doubles gold.