by Ian Marshall
A surprise group first place having earlier in the day accounted for Panama’s Leonardo Castillo, the no.8 seed (11-3, 15-13, 11-6), Rogelio Castro continued his good form, booking his quarter-final place by recording an opening round win against El Salvador’s Jaime Galeano, the no.13 seed (11-8, 11-8, 9-11, 9-11, 13-11, 9-11, 11-4).
Rather differently, Alfredo Sanchez, having finished in second place in his initial phase group, losing to Mexico’s top seeded Ricardo Villa (11-9, 13-11, 10-12, 11-6), accounted for El Salvador’s Job Martinez (11-9, 12-10, 11-7, 11-2). Similarly, Job Martinez is a player yet to assert himself on the world rankings but very much in form in San José. In the group phase he had remained unbeaten, notably overcoming Guatemala’s Heber Moscoso, the no.5 seed (9-11, 11-8, 11-9, 11-8).
Second place in the group for Heber Moscoso, in the opening round he was beaten by Ricardo Villa (7-11, 12-10, 8-11, 11-3, 12-10, 8-11, 11-5).
A quarter-final place for Ricardo Villa; for the remaining leading names it was the same outcome. In the opening round, colleague Miguel Lara, the no.3 seed, overcame Nicaragua’s Gary Castro (11-6, 11-7, 12-10, 11-7); likewise, Guatemala’s Kevin Montufar, the no.2 seed, Hector Gatica, the no.4 seed and Allan Gutierrez, the no.7 seed enjoyed success.
Kevin Montufar beat Mexico’s Carlos Zamora (10-12, 7-11, 11-9, 11-8, 11-7, 11-6), Hector Gatica ousted Nicaragua’s Denilson Castellon (11-5, 11-6, 11-4, 11-6), Allan Gutierrez ended the aspirations of the host nation’s Daniel Araya (6-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-8, 11-6).
Defeat for Costa Rica, in the one remaining first round match it was the same; Alejandro Montoya suffered at the hands of El Salvador’s Diego Orantes, the no.6 seed (11-5, 11-9, 11-5, 11-7).
The major names safely through to the men’s singles quarter-finals, however, not all made it through in the counterpart women’s singles.
Both Mexico’s Monica Muñoz, the no.2 seed and Guatemala Lucia Cordero, the no.3 seed, had experienced defeats the previous day and finished in second places in their respective group. Monica Muñoz had lost to El Salvador’s Gabriela Suarez (10-12, 8-11, 11-6, 17-15, 11-6), Lucia Cordero to Arantxa Cossio Aceves, like Monica Muñoz from Mexico (11-8, 10-12, 12-10, 11-3).
They met in round one, the verdict in favour of Lucia Cordero (11-9, 10-12, 11-7, 11-3, 11-6).
Problems for Monica Muñoz, for the remaining leading names, last eight places were reserved. Having finished in first positions in their respective groups, Mexico’s Clio Barcenas, the top seed, alongside colleagues Marbella Aceves, the no.4 seed and Arantxa Cossio Aceves gained direct quarter-final entries.
In the three further matches required, it was success for Guatemala’s Hidalynn Zapata, the no.5 seed and compatriot Andrea Montufar, the no.6 seed, as it was for El Salvador’s Rebecca Ayestas.
Hidalyn Zapata beat Cristina Machado, the no.7 seed and like Rebecca Ayestas from El Salvador; Andrea Montufar accounted for Costa Rica’s Paola Maroto (11-7, 11-7, 11-7, 11-7), Rebecca Ayestas ended the hopes of colleague Keren Constanza (11-7, 11-4, 9-11, 12-10, 8-11, 11-7).
Unexpected outcomes, it was the same in the men’s doubles but not in the women’s or mixed doubles where matters have advanced to the semi-final round.
In the men’s doubles Costa Rica’s Daniel Araya and Alfredo Sanchez, the no.7 seeds, beat El Salvador’s Job Martinez and Edgardo Sanchez (11-9, 11-13, 12-10, 11-5), the first round winners in opposition to Panama’s Leonardo Castillo and Emilio Wong, the no.3 seeds (11-5, 5-11, 12-10, 11-8).
Somewhat differently, Mexico’s Rogelio Castro and Carlos Zamora caused a quarter-final upset. They accounted for El Salvador’s Jaime Galeano and Diego Orantes, the no.2 seeds (9-11, 11-8, 11-7, 11-8).
At the semi-final stage Daniel Araya and Alfredo Sanchez meet Mexico’s Miguel Lara and Ricardo Villa, the top seeds; Rogelio Castro and Carlos Zamora oppose Guatemala’s Alan Gutierrez and Kevin Montufar, the no.4 seeds.
Meanwhile, at the semi-final stage of the women’s doubles, Mexico’s Clio Barcenas and Arantxa Cossio Aceves, the top seeds, face Guatemala’s Lucia Cordero and Hidalynn Zapata, the no.3 seeds; also from Mexico, Marbella Aceves and Monica Muñoz, the no.2 seeds, oppose El Salvador’s Keren Constanza and Cristina Machado, the no.4 seeds.
A strong Mexican representation, in the mixed doubles equally strong, both pairs facing Guatemalan opposition. Ricardo Villa and Clio Barcenas, the top seeds, confront Hector Gatica and Hidalynn Zapata, the no.3 seeds; Miguel Lara and Arantxa Cossio Aceves, the no.4 seeds, meet Kevin Montufar and Lucia Cordero, the no.2 seeds.
The individual events conclude on Sunday 16th May.