Silver Linings for US Pan Am Games Team on Day 3

By Matt Hetherington | Aug. 06, 2019, 10:01 p.m. (ET)


It was a day of mixed results for the US team at the 2019 Pan Am Games in Lima, Peru. The first round of singles saw 3 of our 4 players advance into the quarterfinals, with two continuing on into the medal rounds. The day ended with the penultimate Women's Doubles final, yet another of the day's matches which went down to the wire. Check out a summary of the team's results on day 3 below!

Women's Singles 1/8
Wu, Y. (USA) 4-3 Yamada, J. (BRA)

A match which began with the defending Pan Am Games champion very much on the front foot, Wu was able to capture the first three games of the best of seven showdown with relative ease. In fact just 12 minutes into the match it was Wu who had the opportunity to close the door on Yamada. The Brazilian, however, had other ideas and launched an incredible comeback to claim the next three games. Wu brought fire to the 7th game, determined not to allow her opposition to lay waste to her brilliant first three games. Wu was sharp and focused and swept her opponent to take a 9-2 lead in the game. It looked like everything was falling into place, but Yamada made her final moves. Wu managed to hold under immense pressure and end proceedings 11-8 in the 7th.

Women's Singles 1/8
Zhang, L. (USA) 4-0 Lovet, I. (CUB)

Another tremendous effort by Lily Zhang, with the games in the 4-0 result lasting a total of just 12 minutes. Zhang displayed her dominance in the match and left no room for error as she moved into the quarterfinal stage.

Men's Singles 1/8
Kumar, N. (USA) 2-4 Madrid, M. (MEX)

A tough match for Nikhil against the higher seeded Marcos Madrid of Mexico. Kumar was on the board early, taking the first game 11-7. The young American had to concede the next 3 games to Madrid, but stepped up his game to win the 5th in deuce. Trailing 3-2 the pressure was all on Kumar, he managed to push the game to 10-10 again and that pressure fell back on Madrid. The Olympian showed his hand at the last moment and took the final 2 points of the match to claim victory. For Kumar the singles campaign comes to an end and he now focuses for the team event. 

Men's Singles 1/8
 Jha, K. (USA)4-1 Alto, G. (ARG)

Kanak Jha showed his class in this match with Argentina's Gaston Alto. Jha avenged his US teammates, who had lost to Alto and Cifuentes in the Doubles Quarterfinal. It was a slow start for Jha who lost the first game 15-13, but switched on and showed his level for the remainder of the match. Jha, one of the event favorites for the singles, continues to show his class as he moves through the singles draw.

Women's Singles Quarterfinal
Wu, Y (USA). 4-0 Vega, P (CHI)

It was back to business for Wu Yue as she moved past her 7 game round of 16 match and moved on to better things, setting herself back on track with a straight games win over Chile's Paulina Vega. A couple of deuce games to keep Wu on her toes, but she was able to seal the result and move into the medal rounds, now guaranteed a bronze medal at the least.

Women's Singles Quarterfinal
Zhang, L. (USA) 3-4 Takahashi, B. (BRA)

Perhaps the most nail-biting match of the day, and one of the classic Pan Am women's matchups of recent years. Zhang had been a force to be reckoned with during the singles event so far, and showed no signs of slowing down as she powered through the first two games of the match to hold a 2-0 advantage. Takahashi was quick to respond, drawing up the match at 2-2. With pressure mounting it was Zhang who broke the momentum first, but Takahashi stepped things up a notch and was able to take both of the last two games. The 4-3 result sends the Brazilian into the semifinals and eliminates USA's Lily Zhang from the competition.

Men's Singles Quarterfinal
Jha, K. (USA)4-1 Mino, A (ECU)

Another superb effort by Kanak Jha who remains largely unchallenged on his way into the final four. After taking the first three games of the match, Jha looked in good stead, but Mino made a last-ditch effort and was able to win one game before losing out 4-1. Kanak now moves into the medals as he passes into the semifinal. 


Women's Doubles Final
Zhang, L. / Wu, Y. (USA) 3-4 Diaz, A. / Diaz, M. (PRI)

No doubt a disappointing end to the day for the two US players as they took away a silver in the women's doubles final. On paper the Americans looked to be favored, but the sister duo of Adriana and Melanie Diaz threw everything on the line in this match. It was a back and forth, but USA always held the upper hand, leading 1-0, 2-1 and 3-2 in the match. The Diaz sisters were definitely facing a troubling score trend, but through sheer persistence and fighting spirit they broke the cycle. As the match went to the 7th and final game the Puerto Rican pair made a spring for the finish line, switching ends with a 5-0 lead in their pocket. At that halfway mark there was very little give from the two as they eyed the golden prize. While Wu and Zhang scrambled to fight their way back into the game, it was already too late - the Puerto Rican sisters took the gold medal 11-7 in the 7th game. Well done to Wu Yue and Lily Zhang on reaching the final and taking home a silver medal, and for an extremely close final match.

You can find information on Day 4 Schedule on the US Team's Pan Am Games Homepage.