14 Sep 2019

The first titles decided at the 2019 ITTF Challenge Plus Paraguay Open; on Friday 13th September in the city of Asuncion, it was success for players from totally different points on the compass.

Puerto Rico’s Brian Afanador and Adriana Diaz claimed the mixed doubles title; similarly it was under 21 men’s singles success for Argentina’s Horacio Cifuentes. Meanwhile, from the east, Maki Shiomi struck under 21 women’s singles gold.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

However, as the previous day one name stood out; it was that of Brazil’s Vitor Ishiy, not seeded he progressed to the semi-final stage of the men’s singles event.

Men’s Singles

…………Vitor Ishiy caused a major second round upset by beating colleague, Gustavo Tsuboi, the no.2 seed (11-4, 11-4, 11-3, 11-6), before recording a quarter-final win when facing Puerto Rico’s Brian Afanador, the no.13 seed (11-9, 11-5, 11-8, 9-11, 11-9).

…………Argentina’s Horacio Cifuentes, the no.11 seed, emerged a surprise semi-finalist. He beat Zhang Kai of the United States (8-11, 11-6, 11-7, 11-8, 11-8), prior to ousting Slovakia’s Lubomir Pistej, the no.5 seed (11-6, 12-10, 11-8, 5-11, 11-8).

…………Austria’s Robert Gardos advanced as predicted; the no.3 seed, he ended the adventures of Brazil’s Cazuo Matsumoto (8-11, 11-8, 11-7, 11-7, 7-11, 11-9). Later he overcame Romania’s Hunor Szocs, the no.14 seed (11-9, 10-12, 7-11, 12-10).

…………Similarly, Japan’s Masataka Morizono claimed a last four place as status predicted; at the quarter-final stage he accounted for Brazil’s Thiago Monteiro, the no.8 seed (11-13, 11-6, 17-15, 11-5, 11-9), having one round earlier ousted Belgium’s Martin Allegro, the no.16 seed (11-3, 9-11, 11-7, 11-6, 11-2).

…………At the semi-final stage Horacio Cifuentes meets Masataka Morizono, Robert Gardos opposes Vitor Ishiy.

Women’s Singles

…………Puerto Rico’s Adriana Diaz, the top seed, after accounting for Argentina’s Agustina Iwasa (11-6, 11-6, 11-1, 11-5), beat elder sister and no.8 seed, Melanie Diaz (11-6, 4-11, 12-10, 7-11, 12-10, 11-7) to reserve her semi-final place.

…………Japan’s Honoko Hashimoto, the no.2 seed, proved too secure in defence; she beat Mexico’s Yadira Silva (11-1, 11-5, 11-8, 11-8) and colleague, Maki Shiomi, the no.6 seed (11-6, 11-5, 11-9, 11-8), to reserve her penultimate round place.

…………Similarly, also from Japan, Hina Hayata imposed her will. The no.3 seed, she overcame Argentina’s Ana Codina (11-7, 11-7, 11-9, 11-3), followed by success in opposition to Puerto Rico’s Daniely Rios (11-6, 11-2, 11-5, 11-4). Notably in the opening round Daniely Rios had caused an upset by beating Italy’s Deborah Vivarelli, the no.7 seed (11-8, 11-5, 8-11, 11-7, 5-11, 3-11, 11-9).

…………Slovakia’s Barbora Balazova justified her no.4 seed spot but only just; after overcoming Chile’s Daniela Ortega (6-11, 11-9, 11-4, 11-2, 9-11, 11-3), she needed the full seven games to beat Brazil’s Bruna Takahashi, the no.5 seed (11-13, 7-11, 9-11, 11-6, 11-5, 11-8, 11-9).

…………In the penultimate round, Adriana Diaz meets Hina Hayata, Honoka Hashimoto opposes Barbora Balazova.

Men’s Doubles

…………Japan’s Masataka Morizono and Slovakia’s Lubomor Pistej, the top seeds, beat Argentina’s Gaston Alto and Horacio Cifuentes, the no.5 seeds (11-6, 11-6, 10-12, 9-11, 11-5), prior to overcoming Brazil’s Eric Jouti and Gustavo Tsuboi, the no.3 seeds (11-7, 9-11, 6-11, 11-9, 11-4).

…………Romania’s Cristian Pletea and Hunor Szocs emerged surprise finalists; the no.7 seeds, after receiving a walk-over against Ecuador’s Alberto Miño and Emiliano Riofrio, they also ended Brazilian hopes in the penultimate round. They beat Vitor Ishiy and Thiago Monteiro, the no.4 seeds (11-8, 13-11, 13-11).

Women’s Doubles

…………Top seeds, Japan’s Honoka Hashimoto and Maki Shiomi overcame the combination of Norway’s Ilka Doval and Ecuador’s Nathaly Paredes, the no.4 seeds (11-8, 11-5, 11-5) to reach the final; at the quarter-final stage they defeated the pairing of Argentina’s Agustina Iwasa and Mexico’s Yadira Silva (11-7, 11-4, 11-7).

…………Puerto Rico’s Adriana Diaz and Melanie Diaz, the no.2 seeds, recorded a quarter-final success against the partnership formed by Brazil’s Caroline Kumahara and Italy’s Debora Vivarelli, the no.7 seeds (11-9, 11-9, 11-3). Later they overcame Argentina’s Camila Arguelles and Ana Codina, the no.3 seeds (11-5, 11-8, 11-8) in the penultimate round.

Mixed Doubles

…………Brian Afanador and Adriana Diaz, the no.2 seeds, beat Brazil’s Vitor Ishiy and Caroline Kumhara, the no.8 seeds (11-7, 11-7, 11-4) to claim the title.

…………Another milestone for Puerto Rico, Adriana Diaz has enjoyed success at under 21 level and in 2016 won the women’s singles event at the United States Open but it was the Caribbean island’s first ever title in a senior event on either the ITTF World Tour or at an ITTF Challenge Series tournament .

Under 21 Men’s Singles

…………Argentina’s Horacio Cifuentes, the no.3 seed, beat Belgium’s Florian Cnudde, the no.2 seed (11-4, 11-6, 10-12, 11-4) to secure the top step of the podium.

…………It was for Horacio Cifuentes his third such title, in 2017 he won in Chile, earlier this year in Spain.

Under 21 Women’s Singles

…………Japan’s Maki Shiomi, the top seed, beat Brazil’s Bruna Takahashi, the no.2 seed, by the very narrowest of margins (12-10, 11-5, 10-12, 11-13, 15-13) to secure the top prize.

…………A second under 21 women’s singles success for Maki Shiomi; in 2017 on the ITTF World Tour she had won in China.

Challenge Series 2019 Paraguay Open Adriana Diaz Maki Shiomi Brian Afanador Horacio Cifuentes

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Day 3 - 2019 ITTF Challenge Plus Paraguay Open