Indian girls put in their best performance so far to sweep aside Japan 3-0 and book a place in the quarterfinal of World Junior Women’s Team Championship in Wroclaw, Poland.
Harshit Kaur Jawanda was first on court, taking on Risa Sugimoto. Harshit took control of the match early on, pinning Risa to the back corners and pounced on Japanese’s errors to win the first game 11/6.
Harshit continued to dominate the front of the court and Risa could not counter Harshit’s ball control as the Indian youngster raced away with the second game. Risa pulled out all the stops in an amazingly display of athleticism as she retrieved every ball and played absolutely wonderful drops to take the third game to 5. However, Harshit Kaur reasserted her dominance in the fourth winning to 4 and putting India 1-0 ahead in 22 minutes.
Lakshya Ragavendran showed off her array of strokes in racing away to a two-game lead against Satomi Watanabe. The Japanese youngster could do precious little in the face of such aggressive strokeplay.
But Satomi hung on and waited for her chances edging the third game 12/10. Lakshya had match ball at 10/9 but could not convert allowing Satomi to reduce the deficit. In an extremely tight fourth game, Lakshya held her nerve to close out the match at 14/12 giving India an unassailable 2-0 lead and a place in the quarterfinal.
In the final rubber, Sachika Ingale was largely untroubled in what turned out to be a routine win against Momoka Nakahira in 20 minutes to complete the 3-0 win.
The Indian girls take on Hong Kong in the quarterfinal. Hong Kong seeded 4th have been impressive in the tournament so far with Asian Junior Champions Ho Ka Po (U-19)and Choi Uen Shan (U-17) yet to drop a game in these championships. Ho Tze Lok has been equally impressive with a fantastic win over Rachel Mae Arnold in a key match of the group stage.
Harshit Kaur Jawanda bt Risa Sugimoto11-6 11-3 5-11 11-4
Lakshya Ragavendran bt Satomi Watanabe 11-5 11-7 10-12 14-12
Sachika Ingale bt Momoka Nakahira 11-9 11-8 11-4Published 25 Jul 2013, 09:36 IST