Special Correspondent

Bowen will be challenged by Wang Chuhan

Ronit and Sai entertained the sizeable gathering with a delightful game

NEW DELHI: Rishika Sunkara was unable to drive home the advantage as she went down 3-6, 3-6 to Miho Kowase in the girls' semifinals of the Asian junior tennis championship at the DLTA Complex here on Saturday.

The wiry Rishika was unable to handle two rain delays, which saw the game being stopped for an hour each early in the second set and lost momentum despite having the upper hand in both the sets.

Rishika led 3-2 after exchange of breaks in the first set, but failed to win another game. It was a similar story in the second set, when Rishika led 3-0 with a break in the second game, but conceded six games in a row to the diminutive Japanese girl who moved swiftly into her strokes and unleashed them with fine rhythm.

There was nothing wrong with Rishika's game as she was hitting beautifully on either flank, but she tended to err in going for the big shots.

Though Rishika came into the match with the confidence of having dismissed the top-seeded Eri Hozumi of Japan, Kowase had the distinction of having shown the door to the champion of last week, Yang Zi of China.

The Japanese ninth seed will face the second-seeded Tian Ran of China in the final.

Ronit-Sai lose

In the boys' doubles, Ronit Bisht and Sai Karthik entertained the sizeable gathering with a delightful game in fine weather in the evening, but lacked that bit extra to fight against the talented Chinese duo of Gao Xin and Ouyang Bowen. The Indian pair fought back from being down 2-5 in the first set to force the tie-break, but failed to capitalise on two set-points on Bisht's serve.

The advantage was lost when Karthik delivered a doublefault while facing setpoint.

In the second set, the Chinese broke Bisht in the fifth and ninth games to close out the contest. The doubles champions gained 120 ITF points, and the runners-up 80 points.

In the boys' semifinals, Vaidik Munshaw gave a good account of himself before bowing to the superior game of Ouyang Bowen of China. The Indian lad had the satisfaction of winning more games than last week from the Chinese, which should give a hint of his growing confidence. It will be a repeat final of last week, as champion Bowen will be challenged by his compatriot, the top-seeded Wang Chuhan.

The results: Boys (semifinals): Wang Chuhan (Chn) bt Warit Sornbutnark (Tha) 6-4, 6-4; Ouyang Bowen (Chn) bt Vaidik Munshaw 7-5, 6-4; Doubles (final): Gao Xin & Ouyang Bowen (Chn) bt Sai Karthik & Ronit Bisht 7-6(6), 6-3. Girls (semifinals): Miho Kowase (Jpn) bt Rishika Sunkara 6-3, 6-3; Tian Ran (Chn) bt Zhu Lin (Chn) 6-3, 6-2 .

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