19 Aug 2019

Three titles secured on Sunday 18th August at the 2019 El Salvador Junior and Cadet Open; Guatemala’s 17 year old Lucia Cordero set totally new standards.

Remaining unbeaten throughout, she became not only the first player from Guatemala to achieve the clean sweep of available titles at an ITTF World Junior Circuit tournament, also she became the first player from Central America to achieve the feat.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

Imposing from Central America, it was the same from North America; the United States was not be overshadowed. Jayden Zhou and Nicole Deng also departed the country’s capital city of San Salvador with three gold medals to their credit.

Unbeaten throughout

The top seed, following success against Linda Shu of the United States (11-5, 13-11, 11-5, 11-9) and El Salvador’s Keren Constanza, the no.3 seed (11-5, 11-4, 11-5, 11-5); Lucia Cordero beat colleague, Hidalynn Zapata, the no.2 seed (11-8, 11-7, 6-11, 11-3, 11-4) to seal the junior girls’ singles title, Hidalynn Zapata being the player with whom earlier in the week she had won the both the junior girls’ team and junior girls’ doubles titles.

The runner up but overall a most successful experience in El Salvador (Photo: Montserrat Mancilla)


A brave effort from Hidalynn Zapata who had been required to withstand responses from most worthy adversaries; at the quarter-final stage she had accounted for Chile’s Mariam Ruiz (11-9, 11-6, 6-11, 11-9, 11-3), before ending the progress of Nicole Deng (7-11, 11-5, 10-12, 11-4, 11-3, 11-8), the surprise quarter-final winner in opposition to El Salvador’s Monica Mendoza, the no.4 seed (12-10, 7-11, 12-10, 11-7, 5-11, 11-8).

Outstanding performance

Defeat for Nicole Deng but a bronze medal was an outstanding performance by the player with no current world ranking, who on the concluding day of action won both the cadet girls’ singles and mini-cadet girls’ singles titles.

Nicole Deng, excelling all expectations (Photo: courtesy of El Salvador Junior & Cadet Open)


In the former, after ousting Sweden’s Hillevi Della Morte (11-2, 14-12, 11-8) and Chile’s Cristina Machado (11-6, 9-11, 11-7, 11-5), she sealed the title at the expense of colleague Linda Shu (11-9, 11-9, 11-9), the player with whom on the second day of action she had won the cadet girls’ team title. In the latter, following success against Ecuador’s Maybellne Menendez (11-4, 11-8, 11-8), she overcame Chile’s Sofia Perez (11-7, 11-5, 11-3) to secure the top prize.

Jayden Zhou

Three titles for Lucia Cordero and Nicole Deng; it was no different from Jayden Zhou. Somewhat similar to Nicole Deng he started matters very much an outsider for honours.

Jayden Zhou, two titles secured on concluding day (Photo: Tomas Romero)


Junior boys’ doubles success the previous day when partnering colleague Sid Naresh; the no.8 seed, following wins against Peru’s Juan Luna Nuñez (11-1, 11-2, 11-1) and Sweden’s Alve Sjevold, the top seed (13-11, 18-16, 11-5), Jayden Zhou accounted for colleague Ved Smeth, the no.3 seed (11-9, 8-11, 11-7, 11-3) to clinch the cadet boys’ singles title.

Success in the cadet age group, two hours later it was junior boys’ singles gold; the title gained at the final expense of Chile’s Matias Pedraza, the n.10 seed (11-7, 11-7, 11-6, 9-11, 11-7).

Matias Pedraza the somewhat unexpected junior boys’ singles silver medallist (Photo: Paloma Mutti)


Impressive in the final, on the concluding day of action it had been impressive en route to the title decider. Jayden Zhou recorded a straight games win against Canada’s David Zhou, the no.5 seed (11-9, 11-9, 11-1, 11-4), prior to reserving his place in the final courtesy of success in opposition to Mexico’s Rogelio Castro, the no.15 seed (7-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-9, 11-8) and a player very much in form. One round earlier Rogelio Castro had ousted Canada’s Terence Yeung, the top seed (7-11, 8-11, 11-7, 11-6, 11-5, 12-10).

A semi-final finish for Rogelio Castro was a most worthy performance as was the runners up spot gained by Matias Pedraza. At the quarter-final stage he beat Kai Zarehbin of the United States, the no.2 seed (10-12, 11-7, 10-12, 11-6, 11-9, 14-12), prior to recording a semi-final success in opposition to Peru’s Juan Luna Nuñez (11-8, 11-9, 11-9, 6-11, 12-10).

More United States gold

Gold for the United States, it was the same colour in the mini-cadet boys’ singles event; Nandan Naresh, following success against the Dominican Republic’s Eduardo Darley (11-4, 11-5, 11-3) clinched the title at the final expense of Sweden’s Elias Sjögren (13-11, 11-1, 11-3, 11-2). In the counterpart semi-final, Elias Sjögren had accounted for colleague, Benjamin Flores Hallden (9-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-5).

Nanden Naresh, the mini-cadet boys’ singles winner (Photo: courtesy of El Salvador Junior & Cadet Open)


Proceedings concluded in San Salvador, attention on the ITTF World Junior Circuit now turns to Varazdin, a golden series tournament, the 2019 Croatia Junior and Cadet Open commences on Wednesday 18th September.

World Junior Circuit 2019 El Salvador Junior & Cadet Open Lucia Cordero

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