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Sport - Tennis

Indians struggle to make impact

NEW DELHI, MARCH 26. The Indian players struggled to make an impact in the ITF junior tournaments in Indonesia and Malaysia over the last fortnight.

The best run came from Jaco Mathew in doubles in partnership with Sratha Saengsuwarn, as the Indo-Thai pair made the semifinals in Kuala Lumpur, and lost to the eventual champion pair of Dias Doskaraev of Kazakhstan and Adam Jaya of Malaysia.

Tushar Liberhan, who made the main draw as a lucky loser, went down fighting in three sets to the eventual champion, the fifth-seeded Go Soeda of Japan, last week.

Among the girls, Isha Lakhani, who had clinched four singles titles in five weeks recently, fell in the second round to Michelle Mitchell of the U.S. in straight sets. The Asian junior semifinalist, Sanaa Bhambri lost in three sets against the fourth-seeded Beier Ko of Canada.

The Indian juniors, joined by coach S. Narendranath last week, are scheduled to compete in two more tournaments in Pattaya and Manila.

The results (featuring Indians):

ITF junior Grade-2 tournament, Kuala Lumpur: Singles (pre-quarterfinals): 1-Tai-Wei Liu (Tpe) bt Jaco Mathew 6-4, 6-1; 5-Go Soeda (Jpn) bt Tushar Liberhan 6-0, 4-6, 6-4. First round: Tai-Wei Liu bt Rishi Behl 6-2, 6-0; Jaco bt Dannio Yahya (Mas) 2-6, 6-2, 6-0; 4-Nick Crawley (GBR) bt Karan Rastogi 6-1, 6-1; Tushar bt Sratha Saengsuwarn (Tha) 6-3, 6-4.

Qualifying event (third round): Rok Jarc (Slo) bt 2-Tushar Liberhan; Second round: Tushar bt Phillip Simmonds (US) 6-3, 2-6, 6-4; First round: Tushar bt Yi-Cheng Won (Tpe) 6-0, 6-1; 3-Fotis Fotakis (Aus) bt Divij Sharan 4-6, 6-3, 6-0; Adam Feeney (Aus) bt Nihal Advani 6-4, 6-3.

Doubles (semifinals): Dias Doskaraev (Kaz) & Adam Jaya (Mas) bt 2-Sratha Saengsuwarn (Tha) & Jaco Mathew 7-6 (11-9), 6-3; Quarterfinals: Sratha & Jaco bt Artur Djabarov (Rus) & Minh-Quan Do (Vie) 6-4, 6-2; Bryan Hung & Hiu-Tung Yu (Hkg) bt Rishi Behl & Karan Rastogi 7-6 (7-2), 6-1; First round: Rishi & Karan w/o 1-Wang Cheng Hsieh & Tai-Wei Liu (Tpe); Sratha & Jaco bt Tushar Liberhan & Divij Sharan 2-6, 6-0, 6-4.

Girls: Singles (pre-quarterfinals): Michelle Mitchell (US) bt 3-Isha Lakhani 7-5, 6-4; First round: Isha bt Olivia Lukaszewicz (Aus) 7-5, 6-3; 4-Beier Ko (Can) bt Sanaa Bhambri 4-6, 6-4, 6-0.

Doubles (first round): 1-Chin-Wei Chan & Su-Wei Hsieh (Tpe) bt Maya Rosa (INA) & Sanaa Bhambri 6-3, 6-0; 3-Sandy Gumulya & Septi Nindya Yutami (Ina) bt Tin Weng Wang (Tpe) & Isha Lakhani 7-6 (7-3), 6-1.

ITF junior Grade-3 tournament, Jakarta:

Singles (first round): Adam Feeney (Aus) bt 5-Karan Rastogi 6-2, 6-2; Dillon Brozyna (U.S.) bt Nihal Advani 7-6 (8-6), 6-2; 8-Tara Tanthasuwanlert (Tha) bt Tushar Liberhan 6-3, 6-2.

Doubles (quarterfinals): 3-Anuwat Dalodom & Natapong Pongkunsub (Tha) bt Tushar Liberhan & Karan Rastogi 6-4, 6-3; First round: Tushar & Karan bt Imanuel Prabowo & Imanuel Prakoso (Ina) 4-6, 7-5, 7-5.

Qualifying event: Third round: Sung-Kwon Baek & Min-Joon Jung (Kor) bt Harris Tedjokusumo (Ina) & Nihal Advani 1-6, 6-2, 6-4; Second round: Nihal & Harris bt Felix Fernandus & Ayrton Wibowo (Ina) 6-4, 6-0; First round: Nihal & Harris bye.

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