Adar Alguetti produced the form of the day as he surprised the field and split from the pack, heading for the top qualifying spot and the first place on the 2017 US National Men's Team. Adar sat in the joint 7th seed spot and, much like his brothers, he started the day on the right foot. Leading out with a 4-2 win over Kunal Chodri in a match packed with great rallies and intensity, Adar looked to be in good form. Beside him on table 2, brother Gal produced the first big upset of the day by eliminating 3rd seed Krish Avvari, 4-2.
Nathan Hsu, the 12th seed, was also able to lock in a great first round win with a 6 set victory over 4th seed Nikhil Kumar.
Into the quarterfinal stages and the matches were beginning to heat up. While Victor Liu and Nicholas Tio cemented their places in the semifinals with relative comfort it was the Alguetti brothers Adar and Sharon who had their limits pushed. Sharon Alguetti was put under the gun by 44 year old US team veteran Shao Yu, his short pips backhand in very aggressive form as he looked to make his mark. Tied at 2-2 it seems Sharon was struggling, the 2nd seed wasn't quite finding his feet. Sharon broke the gridlock by winning game 5 by an 11-4 margin, but Shao Yu was far from done, clawing out games 6 and 7 both 11-9 and booking his spot in the semifinals.
In what was the continuation of a great day, Adar Alguetti stepped out to face number 1 seed and Rio Olympian Kanak Jha. In a twist of events it was Adar Alguetti who took the early lead and showed consistency and calculated tactical play as he raced to a 3-0 lead in the match. The young 2016 US National Champ was far from done as he led a massive comeback. It would fall on points as he grasped back game four 13-11, game five 12-10 and game six 11-9. It was shaping up to be by far the match of the tournament as the performer of the day faced off with the highest seeded player in a seven set showdown. Gunning down to the last points it was Adar who clenched the final game, 11-9, and moved into the semifinals.
While there were moments of difficulty and at one point the match rested at 2-2, Nicholas Tio made a breakthrough to overcome Shao Yu 4-2 and make his way into the final. In the other semifinal Adar Alguetti was looking down the barrel. 3-0 down in games as Victor Liu imposed his powerful game and broadened his lead. After refocusing in set number 4 and taking a 4-0 lead there was some controversy with the umpire causing a moment of frustration for Alguetti. The lead slipped away and at 5-6 down and with a 3 set deficit he called a timeout.
In perhaps one of the biggest turnarounds of the year, he came back to the table from the timeout and settled in for the long haul. His game strategy changed, his consistency began to return. His shots looked more reliable and less overplayed. His placement and tactics came to the foray as he systematically began to shut down Victor Liu's powerful and forehand oriented attacking game.
He stole back a set and came storming back into the match. As his confidence grew, Liu's began to fade and a very clear momentum shift set in motion for Adar Alguetti. Four games would fall in a row to reverse the 3-0 lead and give the result to Adar Alguetti, 4-3. He had started out trapped in Victor Liu's game style, but a moment in time had seen him impose his game back on his opponent, slowing him down, finding his backhand and ultimately diminishing his strengths.
Adar would advance to the final where his gameplan would continue against Nicholas Tio. Sapped of energy but fighting for the right to be the first male player on the 2017 US National Men's Team it would be Adar Alguetti who drove the match home in style, winning a convincing 4-0 in the final match and booking his place on the World Championships team which will travel to Dusseldorf, Germany in May.
A huge congratulations, a well deserved prize for such an outstanding effort, no doubt the performer of the day.
You can see the video archive (all of Adar's matches were played on table 1) and the completed draw of the event below.
Video Archive Day - 1 Livestream - Table 1