17 Aug 2019

First positions in the initial group stage of proceedings decided; on Friday 16th August, the leading names in both the junior boys’ singles and junior girls’ singles events at the 2019 El Salvador Junior and Cadet Open enjoyed success and in some style.

For the boys, Canada’s Terence Yeung and Alexander Bu asserted their authority, as did Kai Zarehbin of the United States and Sweden’s Alve Sjoeveld; for the girls’ it was no different, Guatemala’s Lucia Cordero and Hidalynn Zapata, alongside the host nation’s Monica Mendoza and Keren Constanza were never seriously troubled.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

However, lower down the order there were surprises, pride of place going to Peru’s Juan Luna Nuñez; notably he beat Aziz Zarehbin of the United States, the no.7 seed (11-8, 10-12, 11-9, 6-11, 11-9) to secure first place and direct progress to the main draw.

Similarly, Sweden’s Jens Holmqvist excelled; he accounted for Ecuador’s Mathias Lecaro, the no.12 seed (9-11, 6-11, 11-7, 11-8, 11-7). Disappointment for Ecuador but Jeremy Cedeño more than balanced the books for the country that takes its name from the Equator; the lowest ranked player in his group, he remained unbeaten, the key match being the success against Chile’s Cristian Carrillo, the no.13 seed (1-11, 11-9, 12-10, 12-14, 11-4).

Jens Holmqvist exceeded expectations (Photo: courtesy of El Salvador Junior & Cadet Open)


Second place was the lot of Aziz Zarehbin as it was for Mathias Lecaro and thus progress to the main draw. Alas for Cristian Carrillo it was third position, a situation that applied also to Guatemala’s Luis Ton, the no.14 seed; the player to excel being Nanden Naresh of the United States. He posted a straight games win against the Guatemalan (11-9, 11-3, 11-8) to reserve top spot.

United States duo attracts attention

Noteworthy performances; in the initial phase of the junior girls’ singles event, the players to catch the eye were Nicole Deng and Linda Shu of the United States, both remained unbeaten to end the day in pole position. The lowest rated player in her group, Nicole Deng excelled to beat Guatemala’s Mercedes Mendizabal, the no.7 seed (11-3, 11-6, 11-8); the second highest listed, Linda Shu overcame Chile’s Natasha Ruiz, the no.8 seed (11-6, 11-4, 18-16).

Defeats for Mercedes Mendizabal and Natasha Ruiz; however, it was their only defeats and thus progress to the main draw.

Top four secure first positions

Similarly, in the cadet boys’ singles event, the leading names in the guise of Alve Sjoeveld, Mexico’s Rogelio Castro, Sid Naresh of the United States and Ecuador’s Diego Piguave all topped their respective groups as their top four status advised. Success as predicted but there were unexpected names that ended the day as group winners, Chile providing the players to exceed expectations. Sebastian Castro, Benjamin Alfaro and Jaime Lama alongside Canada’s David Mandelstam all reserved first positions contrary to status.

Rodrigo Mora, first place in the group as anticipated (Photo: Rodrigo Mora)


Equally, in the cadet girls’ singles event there were somewhat surprise first places. Chile’s Sofia Perez and Fernanda Arenda finished the day in top spots as their highly rated status advised; conversely, Linda Shu and Nicole Deng in addition to El Salvador’s Angie Orellana and Victoria Guevara upset the odds.

Successful in youngest age group

Meanwhile, in the mini cadet boys’ singles event, Nanden Naresh of the United States, Sweden’s Elias Sjögren and the Dominican Republic’s Eduardo Darley topped their groups; a situation that applied also to El Salvador’s Diego Quinteros. Likewise in the mini cadet girls’ singles event, it was first place for Nicole Deng, Chile’s Sofia Perez, Ecuador’s Maybelline Menendez and Peru’s Alessia Colfer.

A highly successful day for Nicole Deng (Photo: courtesy of El Salvador Junior & Cadet Open)


Play in El Salvador concludes on Sunday 18th August.

World Junior Circuit 2019 El Salvador Junior & Cadet Open Alexander Bu

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Day 4 - 2019 ITTF El-Salvador Junior & Cadet Open