by Ian Marshall, Editor
However, there were close calls, the men’s singles event providing the drama.
In the opening match of the day, Brazil’s Gustavo Tsuboi, the no.3 seed, was extended the full seven games distance by Ecuador’s Alberto Miño, the no.7 seed (11-6, 10-12, 2-11, 11-9, 8-11, 11-9, 11-6); as the day came to a conclusion the contest between Paraguay’s Marcelo Aguirre, the no.4 seed and Puerto Rico’s Brian Afanador, the no.8 seed, provided even greater drama.
Marcelo Aguirre, experienced, recovered from a two games to nil deficit to emerge successful by the very narrowest of margins in the decider (6-11, 9-11, 16-14, 12-10, 11-9, 7-11, 11-9).
At the semi-final stage Marcelo Aguirre meets Brazil’s Hugo Calderano, the top seed; a player who made a clear statement. After losing the opening game against Argentina’s Horacio Cifuentes, the no.5 seed, he dominated the contest (5-11, 11-5, 11-3, 11-7, 11-7) to duly book his last four place. In the opposite half of the draw, Gustavo Tsuboi meets Kanak Jha of the United States, the no.2 seed; in a hard fought contest he accounted for Mexico’s Marcos Madrid, the no.6 seed (12-10, 8-11, 11-7, 7-11, 11-8, 11-7) to keep title hopes alive.
Disappointment for Puerto Rico in the men’s event, it the women’s it was mixed fortunes. Melanie Diaz, the no.6 seed, experienced defeat at the hands of Lily Zhang of the United States, the no.2 seed (11-9, 11-8, 11-8, 11-7); conversely, younger sister, Adriana, the top seed, brought the day to an end by overcoming Mexico’s Yadira Silva, the no.8 seed (11-8, 12-10, 11-9, 13-11).
In the penultimate round Adriana Diaz opposes Wu Yue, like Lily Zhang from the United States; Lily Zhang faces Canada’s Zhang Mo. At the quarter-final stage, Wu Yue, the no.3 seed, beat Chile’s Paulina Vega, the no.7 seed (11-9, 8-11, 12-10, 11-7, 11-7); Zhang Mo, the no.4 seed, ended the hopes of Brazil’s Bruna Takahashi, the no.6 seed (12-10, 11-5, 11-6, 11-4).
Play in Guaynabo concludes on Sunday 9th February.