NEW DELHI: Having accomplished the main objective of qualifying for the World Group finals, the Indian boys failed to provide a meaningful competition to Korea in the semifinals of the World Junior Cup Asia-Oceania under-14 tennis championship here on Friday.
Mohit Mayur, the trump card of the team in the quarterfinals against Hong Kong, was unable to repeat his heroics against Sukjoung Jeong in the first singles.
It was a tough ask, thereafter, to expect the No. 1 Rohit Bisht, with his glaring technical flaws, to put up a fight against the resourceful left-hander, Kisu Jung. In fact, Rohit played beyond expectations to take the first set with a gritty performance, breaking his opponent three times, but his game stood exposed once the Korean shrugged off his impetuosity and opted to play the waiting game.
The Korean ran away with the second and third sets, dropping just one game, while displaying his all-round skills. Maybe, captain Saurabh Sharma could have taken a chance by fielding the best of the three players Sai Kartik in the second singles, but he probably decided to stick to Rohit because of his fighting qualities.
In doubles, India found it hard to repeat its victory in the league, as Korea put the talented Sukjoung Jeong instead of Hong Chung.
In the other semifinals in what was a cracker of a contest, Australia prevailed over the third-seeded China 2-1.
The results (semifinals): Korea bt India 3-0 (Sukjoung Jeong bt Mohit Mayur 6-2, 6-2; Kisu Jung bt Rohit Bisht 3-6, 6-0, 6-1; Sukjoung Jeong & Kisu Jung bt Mohit Mayur & Sai Kartik 6-4, 6-3).
Australia bt China 2-1 (Benjamin Wagland bt Pengxiang Gong 6-1, 7-6(3); Jason Kubler lost to Guan Yu Cao 3-6, 3-6; Jason Kubler & Joseph Swaysland bt Pengxiang Gong & Yao Zhong Zhang 6-3, 6-2).