The Indian aspirations suffered a jolt as Philippines recorded a 2-1 victory in a league match in group-A of the Asia Oceania World Junior under-14 girls tennis tournament in Bangkok on Tuesday.
India lost both the singles and that was a setback. Sarah Dev did expect a tough outing against the Filipino No.1 Alexandra Eala as she had managed to win a mere seven games in four sets during the Asian under-14 tournaments in Delhi last month.
However, in the absence of Malikaa Marathe who had to withdraw from the team owing to school exams, Gargi Pawar was unable to handle the challenge of the first singles against Ma. Carmencita Carlos, and managed to win four games in a battle that lasted an hour and a half.
“Gargi’s opponent won on an effective tactical play. Gargi ran out of options and rhythm, leading to a lot of unforced errors. The Filipino girls were good”, observed the Indian captain Radhika Tulpule Kanitkar.
The Indian girls were quite smart in winning the doubles for the loss of four games, as Sandeepti Singh Rao partnered Gargi Pawar. But, the challenge for India would be to beat Korea for a berth in the quarterfinals. The Koreans had already beaten Philippines and were ruthless in dismissing the Jordan team for the loss of four games in all.
The results (league): Philippines bt India 2-1 (Ma. Carmencita Carlos bt Gargi Pawar 6-2, 6-2; Alexandra Eala bt Sarah Dev 6-2, 6-3; Ma. Carmencita Carlos & Amanda Gabrielle Zoleta lost to Gargi Pawar & Sandeepti Singh Rao 1-6, 3-6).
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