Photo: Dr Wee Thian YewAustralia at WJT Final Qualifying in Kuching, Malaysia
Australia lead the four teams that will represent the Asia/Oceania region at the World Junior Tennis Finals in the Czech Republic in August after they won the WJT Asia/Oceania Final Qualifying event in Kuching, Malaysia. They will be joined at the Finals by India, Japan and Thailand.
Australia were first on the scoreboard in the final against India. In a battle of the unbeaten No. 2 players Alex De Minaur (AUS) fought back after losing the first set against Alex Solanki (IND) to win an exciting match 36 64 63. The No. 1 players then took the court as the temperature soared past 30 degrees.
Nitin Sinha (IND) was on his game very quickly, claiming the first set over Alexei Popyrin (AUS) 62. Popyrin started to use his big forehand to great effect in the second set and took it 62 to level the match. He quickly raced to a 4-1 lead in the third before Sinha staged a fightback, holding serve twice to force the Australian to serve for the match at 5-3. A change of tactics saw Popyrin come to the net and finish three points with finely crafted volleys as he closed out the match to give Australia victory and first place in the competition.
Japan and Thailand played out an absorbing battle for third place. Thailand took the opening singles and looked in charge when Vorachon Rakpuangchon took the first set. However Japan's Yunosuke Tanaka had other ideas, taking the second set 75 and racing through the final set 60 to level the tie. The doubles was very close but Japan prevailed in two sets to take third place.
Junior Team Competition action continues this week with the girls' World Junior Tennis final qualifying event in Kuching, Malaysia. Sixteen girls teams are competing for the chance to join Australia, India, Japan and Thailand's boys' teams in representing Asia/Oceania at the World Junior Tennis Finals in Prostejov, Czech Republic.
For full results and draws click here