Natalie Chi wins the V Junior International Guatemala 2018

Sept. 25, 2018, 7:35 p.m. (ET)

Natalie Chi, First Place Guatemala Juniors

American junior Natalie Chi, 13, captured the V Junior International Guatemala 2018 women’s singles title last Friday, her first international tournament victory. Chi won by defeating top-seeded Guatemalan Sara Michele Barrios Chiong in three games.

"I felt very excited to be able to win this tournament because it is my first time playing an international level tournament," said Chi.

Chi began her run to the tournament title with a victory over Guatemalan Mariana Isabel Paiz Quan on Tuesday, 21-19, 21-11. On Wednesday in the quarterfinals, Chi defeated another Guatemalan player, Ana Lucia Albanes Cordon, 21-13, 21-13, in 14 minutes.
The semifinals are where Chi truly faced her first adversity in the tournament. Playing second seeded Alejandra Jose Paiz Quan, of Guatemala, Chi won the opening game 21-18, then battled in the second game for a 24-22 victory to win the match.  
In the finals against Barrios Chiong, Chi dropped the opening game, the first and only game she lost in the tournament. Game two was a nail-biter, but Chi prevailed with a 21-19 win to force a third game. In the tournament championship deciding game, Chi won 21-14.

"My toughest match was my final match," said Chi. "My opponent was a physically strong and mentally mature player. Her defense was also very good, and since Guatemala was her home court, the whole entire venue was cheering for her and supporting her. I tried my best to stay strong and focus on the game even when I was trailing to be able to catch up and eventually win the match."

The V Junior International Guatemala 2018 is a BWF Junior Future Series event played at the Gimnasio Teodoro Palacios Flores in Guatemala, Guatemala. The tournament featured all five events, with women’s singles featuring 13 of the best junior Pan Am players from four different countries.