The Sri Lankan girls’ team displayed their prowess at the SLTA courts yesterday as they emerged Champions of the Asia/Oceania Pre-Qualifying World Junior Tennis tournament with a score line of 2-1 against the previously no.1 ranked Philippines.
Both Anjalika Kurera and Anika Seneviratne played quality tennis against their opponents to win both their singles on the final day of the tournament. The second singles was played by eleven year old Kurera against Carmencita Carlos of the Philippines. Speaking to ThePapare, she explained that this match was the most strenuous match she has faced. “The first set was very difficult because my opponent played many winners but I managed to understand her attacking style and counterattack by the second set. Playing against her was very tough, I had to work very hard to really hit her weak points in the third set.” Ultimately, she got the upper hand of the match and won 6-4 5-7 2-6.
The first singles was played next between top ranked Alexandra Eala and Sri Lanka’s star player Anika Seneviratne. Though the pressure was on her as she played on home soil, Seneviratne’s brilliant use of her skills gave her this victory in straight sets 6-2, 6-1. Seneviratne and Kurera paired up for the doubles match and unfortunately lost to the Filipino duo Alexandra Eala and Alexandra Vitaliano, 6-0 6-0 w.o. However, having won their previous matches, the Girls’ Championship went to Sri Lanka. The Philippines finished in second position while Iran came in third by defeating Lebanon.
The Sri Lankan boys, unfortunately, lost their semi-final match against Kazakhstan. Both Ashen Silva and Nelaka Dissanayake failed to triumph over their Kazakh competitors Dmitry Bezborodov and Nikita Sidorov in the singles and lost with scores of 6-0 6-2 and 6-7(6) 7-5 6-4, respectively. Their victory in the doubles was of little use as the Sri Lankan team were unable to progress into the final. Sri Lanka will fight for third position when they face Syria today.
The semi-final round between Kuwait and Syria was won by Kuwait, 3-0. This sent the players from Kuwait, Ali Alshati and Bader Antar to the finals where they will face Kazakhstan.
The Boys’ final will take place today at the Gymkhana Club courts between the two teams. This will be a thrilling match as Kazakhstan was ranked no. 1 for this tournament and Kuwait was not in the top 3 but has played remarkably well so far.