Japan at WJT Final Qualifying in Kuching, Malaysia
Australia, India, Japan and Thailand have qualified for the World Junior Tennis Finals in Prostejov, Czech Republic on 5-10 August after reaching the semifinals of this week's Asia/Oceania Final qualifying event in Kuching, Malaysia.
The four teams guaranteed their safe passage into the finals of the prestigious ITF Under 14's event after heavy rain forced them to contest two seperate ties in one day.
The fourth day's play began with the continuation of the Japan v Hong Kong China and Singapore v Uzbekistan ties which suspended by the weather on Wednesday with the singles split at 1-1.
Hong Kong, who had won the first set before the rain yesterday held its nerve to beat top seeds Japan 11-9 in the second set tiebreak to win the doubles and take the tie 2-1. As a result Hong Kong progressed to play Thailand in the quarterfinals while Japan took on fifth seeds China. In the other rain-interrupted tie Uzbekistan completed a 2-1 win over Singapore, winning the doubles in straight sets.
Play then turned to the quarterfinals with the four winning teams earning a place at the Word Junior Tennis finals in Czech Republic in August. Fourth seed Australia was first to win its quarterfinal, with both Alex De Minaur and Alexei Popyrin winning their matches in straight sets against Korea.
They were closely followed by India who won both singles against Chinese Taipei. Indian No. 1 Nitin Sinha was tested for the first time in the competition with Taipei's Tsung Hao Huang claiming the second set 6-3 before the much taller Sinha came back strongly to win the third 6-1.
Japan bounced back from its loss to Hong Kong earlier in the day to record a resounding win over fifth seeds China, taking both singles in straight sets to move into the quarterfinals. Hong Kong were not able to repeat their pool play success and fell to third seeds Thailand, losing both singles.
As a result the four nations to represent Asia/Oceania at the World Junior Tennis Finals are the top four seeds from the event - Japan, India, Thailand and Australia. In Friday's semifinals Japan plays India and Thailand will take on Australia.
Host nation Malaysia scored its second win for the week, taking both singles against Pakistan. They will be joined in the 9-12th play-off by Vietnam, winners over Kazakhstan, Indonesia who beat Singapore and the winners of the tie between Uzbekistan and Philippines which was interrupted by rain with the score 1-1 after the singles.
For the latest results from this week’s action click here