The girls’ singles final of the ITF Asian Junior tennis championships will be an all-Thailand affair as both Indians, Ojasvinee Singh and Mihika Yadav, crumbled spectacularly at the DLTA Complex on Friday.
Ojasvinee’s defeat was arguably more harrowing as she held two match points while serving at 5-3 in the second set. Thereafter, she suffered a stunning meltdown to lose 1-6, 7-6(6), 6-2 to top seed Kamonwan Buayam.
After the match, Buayam said she did not wake up until the second set. The Thai girl was broken seven consecutive times from the start. Trailing 2-5 in the second set, Buayam finally held her serve but the danger wasn’t averted yet. In the following game, Ojasvinee went 40-30 up and had another match point later, but unforced errors ensured the chances weren’t taken.
The set went to a tiebreak but nerves seemed to overwhelm Ojasvinee, and a return error on Buayam’s second serve gave the latter the set.
While Ojasvinee had earlier demonstrated the confidence to attack the ball, she became error-prone and reluctant in the third set. It took Buayam only 23 more minutes to seal victory.
Mihika’s defeat to fifth seed Tamachan Momkoonthod, though, was straightforward — a 6-1, 6-1 thumping in 72 minutes.
The boys’ final will also see players from a single country — Koreans Lee Duck Hee and Yun Seong Chung.
While Chung breezed through his semi against Japan’s Ken Onishi, Lee underwent a severe test of his credentials. The examination was carried out by Lee’s Chinese doubles partner Weiqiang Zheng, but the former eventually won 6-3, 6-7(5), 7-6(5) in two hours and 35 minutes.
Serving at 6-5 in the second set, Lee produced a remarkably poor game to get broken. In the tiebreak, he was 5-2 up but Zheng won the next five points to draw level.
The worst passage of play for Lee, though, arrived in the decider when he went 5-1 up. The following five games were lost — including three service games and four match points — as his intensity dipped remarkably. Consecutive double faults by Zheng ensured the match went to a tiebreak but the Chinese recovered to lead 5-2.
At this point, Lee raised his game to overturn the deficit.
Later, Zheng and Lee won the boys doubles title at the expense of the Japanese pair of Sora Fukuda and Makoto Ochi.
In the girls’ doubles final, the Indian pair of Vasanti Shinde and Dhruthi Venugopal succumbed to a 6-4, 6-1 loss at the hands of Buayam and Yijia Shao.
The results: Semifinals: Boys: Lee Duck Hee (KOR) bt Weiqiang Zheng (CHN) 6-3, 6-7(5), 7-6(5); Yun Seong Chung (KOR) bt Ken Onishi (JPN) 6-0, 6-2. Girls: Kamonwan Buayam (THA) bt Ojasvinee Singh 1-6, 7-6(6), 6-2; Tamachan Momkoonthod (THA) bt Mihika Yadav 6-1, 6-1.
Doubles: Final: Boys: Lee Duck Hee & Weiqiang Zheng bt Sora Fukuda & Makoto Ochi (JPN) 7-6(5), 6-2. Girls: Yijia Shao (CHN) & Kamonwan Buayam bt Vasanti Shinde & Dhruthi Venugopal 6-4, 6-1.