by Ian Marshall, Editor
Second place in her initial stage junior girls’ singles group, beaten by Chile’s Valentina Rios (11-7, 11-7, 12-10), in the opening round, the 14 year old, the no.15 seed, beat Paraguay’s Leyla Gomez, the top seed (11-7, 11-9, 9-11, 11-8, 11-8) to reserve her place in the quarter-finals.
An unexpected last eight place for Giulia Takahashi, it was the same for her colleague, Laura Watanabe, a young lady who will celebrate her 15th birthday on Tuesday 26th March. No current listing on the under 18 girls’ world rankings, an unexpected group first place, she accounted Chile’s Natasha Rios, the no.18 seed (11-6, 8-11, 11-7, 11-4, 8-11, 13-11) to book her last eight spot.
Two surprise quarter-finalists, there was one more. Peru’s Alessandra Cisneros, the no.11 seed, having finished in second place in her group, beaten by Laura Watanabe (11-5, 12-10, 11-13, 11-9), she accounted for the host nation’s Natalie Ramos, the no.6 seed (6-11, 5-11, 11-9, 11-6, 11-8, 7-11, 11-9) in the opening round.
Otherwise, it was success at the first hurdle for the leading names; Ecuador’s Nathaly Paredes, the no.2 seed, duly reserved her quarter-final place as did the next names in the order of merit. It was progress for Brazil’s Livia Lima, Chile’s Valentina Rios and Canada’s Benita Zhou.
Similarly, in the junior girls’ doubles event, the names of Giulia Takahashi and Laura Watanabe were very much to the fore; the no.11 seeds, at the quarter-final stage they beat the host nation’s Jerusalen Flores and Valentina Rios, the no.2 seeds (11-7, 12-10, 13-15, 6-11, 11-8).
However, there was to be no place in the final; in an equally close penultimate round contest they were beaten by the no.4 seeds, the Ecuador pairing of Nathaly Paredes and Mylena Plaza (11-13, 11-5, 6-11, 11-6, 12-10). In the final another Brazilian pair awaits; Nathaly Paredes and Mylena Plaza face Tamyres Fukase and Livia Lima, the top seeds.
Play concludes in Santiago on Sunday 24th March.