It will be an interesting task for the Indian team to emulate the deeds of the three earlier teams over the last three weeks, in the Asia-Oceania World Junior Tennis under-14 boys’ event to be played at the DLTA Complex from Monday.
The Indian under-16 boys won the tournament, the under-16 girls narrowly missed qualification for World Group, and the under-14 girls qualified as the fourth team.
The Indian team of Tanussh Ghildyal, Arnav Paparkar, Aditya Mor does not have a seeding, and has been clubbed with second seed Japan, eighth seed Uzbekistan and Jordan in group-B.
“Seeding does not help much. We have to play our best tennis in every match,” said the captain of the team, Ankit Patel.
National coach Zeeshan Ali, who has conducted four weeks of preparatory camp for the four teams over the last month, hoped for the boys to put up a good performance when they start against Uzbekistan on Monday.
It was a blow for the Indian team, when one of the players, Vyom Shah had to be hospitalised and kept in the ICU for the last few days, owing to an infection in his nervous system.
After the pandemic, it is an opportunity for the countries to compete. Former World No.1 Lleyton Hewitt has come to support his son Cruz, as the boy was getting out of Australia for the first time. At the inauguration, Hewitt recalled competing in such events as a junior, while wishing luck to the teams.
Australia, Japan, Thailand and Kazakhstan will be the teams to beat for countries aspiring to get one of the four berths for the World Group competition to be staged later in Europe.
A: Australia, Syria, Lebanon, Korea; B: Japan, Jordan, India, Uzbekistan.
C: Thailand, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Iran; D: Kazakhstan, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Pakistan.