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Impressive Start as Jha Overcomes Top Seed at 2017 Pan American Cup

By Matt Hetherington | July 28, 2017, 9:19 p.m. (ET)

The number 5 seed and back to back US National Table Tennis Champion Kanak Jha has made an impressive start to the 2017 Pan American Cup in San Jose, Costa Rica with an outstanding 3-2 win over top seed Gustavo Tsuboi of Brazil. The Brazilian player who has been ranked as high as 33 in the World is currently ranked 115 and is as coaches Jorg Bitzigeio and Stefan Feth say a great win and a good indication in the long run for young Jha who has maintained consistently good form from the Dusseldorf World Championships, through the Argentina Junior Open and Pan Am Junior Champs along with the 2017 US Nationals, the latter 3 all of which he claimed the highest honors.

Despite the win Jha and his coaches are very much focused on the road ahead in the tournament and while indicating a great performance, Bitzigeio and Feth both noted that the tournament has just begun and there is still a long way to go and more great players to compete against.

Jha fought out a long first game with Coach Stefan Feth calling a timeout with a 19-18 lead in game one before Jha closed out 20-18 and took a 1-0 lead. It was a close affair as Tsuboi fought back in game two, another deuce showdown with the Brazilian winning 12-10 to even the match. Jha would take game 3 and hold a 5-1 lead in the 4th game, unfortunately not able to hold on as his experienced opposition came powering back and won 15-13.

In the deciding 5th game Kanak had the lead 7-2 and 8-4. At 10-7 the pressure was on Jha and his left handed opponent from Brazil pushed to the end. 11-10 and a tight short receive to the forehand from Jha ended the match with a victory.

A great effort by our young player and hopefully form which will continue throughout the tournament. 

Wins were sealed by Adar Alguetti, Jennifer Wu and Lily Zhang throughout the day - Jennifer losing out 3-1 to top seed Mo Zhang of Canada, while Adar Alguetti had a tough match against Mexico's Marcos Madrid.

Keep up with all the action live on YouTube and below:

2017 ITTF Pan American Cup News and Results

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Kanak Jha

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