02 Nov 2021

Ecuador's Angelica Arellano enjoyed a promising start to her Under-17 Girls' Singles campaign. She won two of her three group matches before eliminating Argentina's Daniela Linares in the quarter-final as the girls' competition got underway at WTT Youth Contender Cuenca.

by Calvin Koh

The 14-year-old, who picked up table tennis when she was four under the influence of her father, will take on Belgium’s Sara Devos in the semi-final, where a maiden WTT Youth Series title awaits either of them.

“I was feeling very nervous this morning. The high-altitude conditions affected me a little, but I started to feel more confident as the day went on. I’m happy I’ve managed to reach the Under-17 semi-final.

“For tomorrow, I need to continue to stay positive. Fortunately, I get to play the group matches of the Under-15 competition first, and that will help me adapt and stay focused for the semi-final,” said Arellano.

Belgium’s Julie Van Hauwaert will also be joining Arellano at the semi-final stage of the Under-17 Girls’ Singles competition after the 16-year-old defeated Brazil’s Karina Shiray 3-1 (7-11, 11-8, 11-9, 11-7) in the quarter-final.

Van Hauwaert was unbeaten in the group stage when she beat Argentina’s Daniela Linares 3-0 (11-5,11-5, 11-6) and was given a walk-over result in the match against Ecuador’s Genesis Macias.

“I still have to deal with the conditions here as the ball fly more than usual over other places. And for that, I need to keep my posture and ensure I stay low. I know I can play better. I hope to improve in my play tomorrow,” said the young Dutch.

Meanwhile, Colombia’s Valentina Rodriguez is two matches away from her WTT Youth Series breakthrough after reaching the quarter-final stage of the Under-13 Girls’ Singles competition.

Rodriguez takes on Argentina’s Andrea Moscoso after overcoming Maybelline Sheccid Menendez Bravo of Ecuador 3-1 (6-11, 11-5, 11-9, 11-7). When asked about her goals for the week, Rodriguez said: “With the support of my coach, I hope I can get the gold medal for Colombia.”

WTT Youth Contender Cuenca is the first-ever WTT Youth Series event to be staged in Pan America. It provides aspiring youths with the opportunity to embark on their table tennis careers.

For more information on WTT Youth Contender Cuenca, click here.

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