Photo: Dr Wee Thian YewIndia at WJT Final Qualifying in Kuching, Malaysia
India knocked over top seeds Japan 3-0 to advance to the final of the World Junior Tennis Asia/Oceania Boys' Final Qualifying event in Kuching, Malaysia.
India, who along with Australia, Japan and Thailand, had already qualified for the World Junior Tennis Finals in Prostejov, Czech Republic by reaching the semifinals in Kuching, went ahead through Alexi Solanki, who continued his excellent form at No. 2 for India by defeating Daisuke Sumizawa in little more than an hour.
An outstanding match between Nitin Sinha (IND) and Yunosuke Tanaka (JPN) followed. The unbeaten Sinha put in a consistent display to take the first set 63. Tanaka fought back, playing good attacking tennis in the second set to win it 61, taking six straight games. Tanaka started well in the third set leading 2-1 but then Sinha raised his game, forcing errors from his opponent and winning five games in a row to take the match and put India into the final.
Australia will be India's opponent after taking both singles against Thailand in the other semifinal.
Alex De Minaur scored a comfortable win to put Australia 1-0 ahead, before Alexi Popyrin took to court aiming to bury the tie against Voracho Rakpuangchon. He took the first set 64, but the Thai player soon raised his level, hitting winners and forcing errors to race away with the second set 62.
The third set was played in sweltering heat and Popyrin came out firing, breaking serve to lead 4-2. His Thai opponent came back strongly to level at 4-all, but Popyrin then held and when Rakpuangchon came to serve Popyrin unleashed four stunning shots to strike four clean winners, the first three forehands and on match point a backhand return of serve fired straight up the line to take the match and propel Australia into the final.
China beat Chinese Taipei 3-0 to move into the playoff for 5th place where they will take on Hong Kong China, who edged out Korea in a three-set deciding doubles match.
In the 9-12 play-offs hosts Malaysia turned in another good performance but were edged out by Indonesia 2-1.
In the fight to avoid last place Singapore beat Pakistan 3-0 and Kazakhstan beat Philippines.
For the latest results from this week's action click here