by Simon Daish
Competing on the Olympic stage in Beijing, London and Rio de Janeiro, the prospect of Marcelo Aguirre failing to leave Rosario with a ticket to Tokyo seemed unthinkable, but that is exactly what has happened. Wu Jiaji deserves tremendous credit for his efforts and was simply too hot to handle for Aguirre, with the second seed registering a perfect 4-0 win against one of the continent’s finest players (12-10, 11-7, 11-6, 17-15).
Desperate disappointment for Aguirre but he wasn’t the highest seeded player to fall in the quarter-finals, that title belonged to Mexico’s Marcos Madrid.
The no.3 seeded player for the second knock-out tournament, Madrid possessed the lead three times during his meeting with Argentine no.5 seed Gaston Alto and on each occasion the host nation competitor hit back straight away. An exhausting affair which lasted over an hour in length, Alto finally laid claim to a lead of his own, and with it the match win (7-11, 11-8, 4-11, 11-6, 11-13, 11-8, 11-3).
Set to meet in the other qualification match are Ecuador’s Alberto Miño and Cuba’s Jorge Campos following their quarter-final exploits.
Facing Puerto Rico’s Daniel Gonzalez, fourth seed Miño produced an exemplary performance to land a convincing win which saw two of the games decided by a 10 point margin (11-1, 11-9, 11-1, 9-11, 11-5)! Meanwhile, Campos didn’t have it all his way with the top seed having to dig deep at times in his encounter with Chile’s Juan Lamadrid, but come the close of game six the Cuban had done enough to progress (9-11, 11-3, 13-11, 11-4, 5-11, 11-8).
The men’s singles draw concludes in the evening session of play with back-to-back qualification matches scheduled from 18.00 local time.