World Juniors: Akanksha Salunkhe puts up a brave fight against Juue Bhide
India may have lost the 5th – 8th place matchup 2-1 to New Zealand, but not without a fight.
Harshit Jawanda beat Abbie Palmer 11-9, 11-4, 6-11, 11-13, 11-6 in the first rubber. In the second match, Eleanor Epke beat Adya Advani 12-10, 11-4, 11-3 in just 20 minutes to level the scores at 1-1.
India’s hopes rested on Akanksha Salunkhe’s shoulders as she took on Juee Bhide in the decider. Akanksha gave India a two-game lead and had two match balls in the third game. However, cramps got the better of her as she found it difficult to compete with her New Zealand counterpart.
Bhide took the third game and eventually the match to give New Zealand a win. Akanksha’s efforts must be lauded. She did not give up until the last point was played and gave it her all despite the cramps that had stalled her game.
Saurav Ghosal appreciated Akanksha’s fighting abilities:
Special mention to Akanksha Salunkhe ; got cramps at match ball in the 3rd & couldn't walk. She still finished the match! You are my winner!— Saurav Ghosal (@SauravGhosal) August 4, 2015
You can watch highlights of the match here: