02 Feb 2019

Accustomed to success, Brazil’s Gustavo Tsuboi and Canada’s Zhang Mo duly booked semi-final places in the respective men’s and women’s events at the Universal 2019 Pan America Cup in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico by emerging successful on Saturday 2nd February.

Gustavo Tsuboi, the no.2 seed, beat Canada’s Jeremy Hazin, the no.16 seed (11-8, 8-11, 12-10, 11-7, 11-5), before in a contest that ebbed and flowed Zhang Mo, the top seed, ended the hopes of Canada’s Jeremy Hazin, the no.16 seed (11-8, 8-11, 12-10, 11-7, 11-5).

by Ian Marshall, Editor

A place in the last eight was a most creditable achievement for Jeremy Hazin; moreover he gave Gustavo Tsuboi, the winner in 2017 in San José, more than food for thought.

Matters level at two games each; in the third game he led 8-4 before the Brazilian recovered. Securing the third game turned the tide.

“I started very aggressively, I won the first game reasonably comfortably but then he came back; in the opening game I had a good rhythm to my play but in the second game he changed the pace of the game and I lost my good rhythm. He played quite slowly, he blocked the ball well and I made mistakes. After winning the third game, I increased the speed of my play, I put more spin on the ball and I found a good rhythm to my play.” Gustavo Tsuboi

Success for the winner in San José, there was also success for the runner up; in the Costa Rican capital city Zhang Mo had lost to Lily Zhang in the final, last year she made amends by securing the title in Asuncion, Paraguay, at the final expense of Wu Yue, like Lily Zhang from the United States.

“It’s always easier when you are leading, the 5-1 lead in the seventh game was crucial. I have played Lily so many times; she is used to how I play, used to the rhythm of my play and the short pimples on my forehand. For me, it’s often an advantage to play someone new who is not used to my style. Playing Lily is always difficult, she is good in the rallies, she doesn’t make many errors and her services are good.” Zhang Mo

At the semi-final stage Gustavo Tsuboi meets Kanak Jha, the no.3 seed from the United States; Zhang Mo confronts Gustavo Tsuboi’s compatriot, Bruna Takahashi, the no.4 seed.

2019 Pan Am Cup Lily Zhang Zhang Mo Gustavo Tsuboi Jeremy Hazin

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Day 3 - Universal 2019 ITTF-Pan American Cup