Indian aspirations were dashed by an inspired New Zealand which won 2-0 to earn a qualification berth in the Asia-Oceania world junior under-14 tennis tournament here on Thursday.
After the dominance in the league phase — India topped Group C ahead of Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore, winning eight of the nine rubbers — it was an unexpectedly disappointing finish.Losing his way
With Adil Kalyanpur sidelined with a painful forearm, the onus was on Vikash Singh to provide a good start. Vikash played a vibrant game against Macsen Sisam, but lost his way midway through the second set.
Vikash became tentative, but even after losing the second set he managed to break back twice in the decider to be on par at 3-3, before his game crumbled. What was impressive about the Kiwi was the maturity with which he handled the climax despite two bad umpiring calls against him.
Siddhant Banthia offered much better resistance against Finn Reynolds, but failed to convert a setpoint in the 10th game of the second set.
He twice failed to serve out the set and fell woefully short in the tie-break. In other quarterfinal matches, top seed Korea subdued a spirited Japan2-1, second-seeded Australia succumbed to Thailand’s solid game, while fourth-seeded Chinese Taipei recovered from losing the first singles to outclass Indonesia.
Although the competition will continue for the next two days to identify a champion, the top four teams from the region have booked their berth for the World group competition to be staged in the Czech Republic in August.
India will face Australia on Friday in a positional match for the fifth to eighth places.
The results (quarterfinals): Korea bt Japan 2-1 (Park Uzsung bt Kai Kawano 6-2, 2-6, 6-0; Han Seonyong lost to Naoki Tajima 4-6, 6-2, 3-6; Han Seonyong & Jeong Yeongseok bt Kai Kawano & Naoki Tajima 6-2, 3-6, 6-3).
Chinese Taipei bt Indonesia 2-1 (Yu-Hsiang Su lost to Muhamad Altafh Dhaifullah 4-6, 6-1, 4-6; Chen-Jui Ho bt Iswandaru Kusumo Putro 6-1, 6-0; Chen-Jui Ho & Yu-Hsiang Su bt Muhamad Altafh Dhaifullah & Iswandaru Kusumo Putro 6-1, 6-0).
New Zealand bt India 2-0 (Macsen Sisam bt Vikash Singh 2-6, 6-4, 6-3; Finn Reynolds bt Siddhant Banthia 6-2, 7-6(1)).
Thailand bt Australia 2-0 (Saranpahon Siriwanichikul bt Greg Polmans 6-4, 6-2; Tonkla Mulada bt Stefan Norodom 7-6(6), 6-4).