by Simon Daish
Victorious over host nation favourite Marcelo Aguirre (7-11, 11-4, 11-6, 11-7, 11-4) at the first hurdle, Vitor Ishiy set up a huge clash with fellow countryman Gustavo Tsuboi who he met only recently at the 2019 ITTF-Pan American Championships.
Despite holding the upper hand over Tsuboi on that occasion, Ishiy still had the odds stacked against him at the 2019 ITTF Challenge Plus Paraguay Open, he is after all ranked almost 100 positions below his Brazilian teammate. Presently Gustavo Tsuboi stands at no.28, Vitor Ishiy at no.121.
Asuncion seems to be a popular destination for Ishiy and Tsuboi to do battle, in fact the first head-to-head meeting between the two players on the international stage was also staged in the Paraguayan capital with Tsuboi beating his younger colleague 4-0 at the 2014 ITTF-Latin American Cup.
Five years on in their first meeting at an the ITTF Challenge Series event, once again just four games were required to find a victor. However, this time it was Ishiy who came away victorious, producing a devastating performance to eliminate Tsuboi from the competition.
Another impressive outing from Ishiy and a timely one at that, just a week on from his title winning campaign at the 2019 ITTF-Pan American Championships which, coincidentally, was also held in Asunci0n. The coincidences don’t stop there, Ishiy beat both Aguirre and Tsuboi on his way to men’s singles gold at the Pan American Championships, two players he has already toppled on his men’s singles journey at the 2019 Paraguay Open.
We may be getting a little ahead of ourselves here – is this all just coincidence or are the stars aligning once again for Vitor Ishiy in Asunción?