02 Feb 2019

The United States very much in evidence, at the quarter-final stage of the men’s singles event at the Universal 2019 Pan America Cup in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico; on Saturday 2nd February, there was success for Kanak Jha but not for Nikhil Kumar.

Securing a last eight place against the odds, Nikhil Kumar, the no.15 seed, was beaten by Paraguay’s Marcelo Aguirre, the no.4 seed (11-7, 5-11, 11-9, 11-8, 11-8); later in a hard fought seven games contest, Kanak Jha, the no.3 seed, recovered from a three games to one deficit to overcome Ecuador’s Alberto Miño, the no.6 seed (9-11, 9-11, 11-7, 8-11, 11-4, 11-6, 11-6).

by Ian Marshall, Editor

On the opening day Nikhil Kumar had impressed, on the second day of action in the guise of Marcelo Aguirre he faced a player of exactly the same style. Both left handed attacking players with an exquisite feeling for the ball, he confronted an adversary who 10 years earlier was at his level.

Notably both have January birthdays, Marcelo Aguirre is 26 years old, Nikhil Kumar is 16 years of age.

“He is a very talented player; we both have the same style of play. He plays with high quality, he is smart, an intelligent player. It was vital that I was strong with my first attack and kept him under pressure; my first match in the tournament, winning the first game was important, it gave me confidence.” Marcelo Aguirre

It was for the teenager a learning experience, for Kanak Jha a most exacting experience; he was severely tested.

“The first match for me in the tournament you are never really sure and I was not sure how to play against him. Recently Alberto beat me quite comfortably in the German Bundesliga. He is good with the counter attack, after the second game I changed my service; sidespin and topspin. In the seventh when I was down 1-4, I kept a clear head, did not panic and kept cool.” Kanak Jha

At the semi-final stage Marcelo Aguirre meets the winner of the contest between Brazil’s Hugo Calderano and Puerto Rico’s Brian Afanador; for Kanak Jha it is either Gustavo Tsuboi, also from Brazil or Canada’s Jeremy Hazin.

2019 Pan Am Cup Kanak Jha Marcelo Aguirre Nikhil Kumar Alberto Miño

No results found.

Photo Gallery

Day 3 - Universal 2019 ITTF-Pan American Cup