Photo: Dr Wee Thian YewWorld Junior Tennis Final Qualifying, Kuching, Malaysia
The boys World Junior Tennis Asia/Oceania Final Qualifying event in Kuching, Malaysia takes place this week, from 8-13 April, with 16 nations from the region going toe-to-toe in a bid to secure a place in the World Junior Tennis Finals in Prostejov, Czech Republic.
Just four teams will qualify for the prestigious Under 14 event on August 5-10, with nations looking to get wins under their belts in the initial round robin group stages before the action hots up in the 1-8 play-offs towards the end of the week, with group losers playing for positions in the 9-16 play-offs.
Asian nations have done well in the World Junior Tennis Finals in recent years, with Korea winning the 2011 final before finishing a runner-up to USA last year. They are seeded seventh at this year’s competition, underlining the strength in depth of Asia/Oceania teams, but joined top seeds Japan, India, Thailand, Australia, China and Hong Kong in securing 3-0 wins on the opening day of competition on Monday.
Chinese Taipei was the other nation to win on day one, snaring a 2-1 triumph against Singapore after clinching the deciding doubles rubber through Hsiang Chien Wang and Pang Shuo Yin.
The World Junior Tennis event was started by the ITF in 1991 and has been held at the TK Plus Centre in Prostejov, Czech Republic, since 1998 after moving from its original location in Japan.
A number of past participants in the event have go on to become household names, including former event winners Rafael Nadal, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, David Nalbandian and Richard Gasquet, while the likes of Justine Henin, Kim Clijsters and Amelie Mauresmo have appeared in the girls’ event.
The Asia/Oceania Final Qualifying girls’ event follows the boys’ event in Kuching on April 15-20.
For the latest results from this week’s action, click here.