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Manav raises bar, adds singles gold

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New Delhi, September 25: India’s Manav Thakkar raised the bar yet again when he beat Japanese Takeru Kashiwa 11-6, 11-3, 11-5, 11-6 in the final to win the Junior Boys singles gold in the 2017 Slovenia Junior and Cadet Open at Otocec which concluded last night.

 

Not only did he claim the singles crown but also emerged as the most successful player from the tournament, having won the doubles gold and silver in the team event earlier.

 

The second-seeded India was in no mood to relent in the final and beat the 15th seeded Japanese, who had earlier accounted for India’s Parth Virmani in the quarterfinals, without conceding a game. Incidentally, the Japanese had upset Chinese Taipei’s Feng Yi-Hsin, the top-seed, 11-7, 11-9, 9-11, 3-11, 13-11, 4-11, 11-9 in a tough semi-final.

 

A completely drained out Japanese was ill at ease in the final against Manav who attacked right from the word go as he inched closer to taking a firm grip on the gold medal. Considering his silver-winning effort in the Thailand Open earlier this year, the outing in Slovenia Open has proved to be a great success for the 17-year-old boy from Surat.

 

Manav earlier beat sixth seed Tai Ming-Wei 11-5, 11-4, 10-12, 11-7, 13-11 in the quarter-final before overcoming ninth seed Egyptian Youssef Abdel-Aziz 11-4, 11-8, 11-9, 11-9 in the semis.  

 

 

SILVER AND BRONZE

 

In the Junior Girls section, Selenadeepthi Selvakumar had to satisfy herself with the bronze medal after she went down to 14-16, 11-3, 11-9, 11-8, 5-11, 9-11, 4-11 to Hong Kong’s Wong Chin Yau in a semi-final match that went down to the wire. The Chennai girl was comfortably leading 3-1 but her opponent staged a fine recovery to take the last three games as a tiring Selena wilted under pressure.  In the quarterfinals, Selana upset Su Pei-Ling of Taipei, the world No. 29,  11-13, 5-11, 11-6, 5-11, 11-7, 13-11, 11-9. In a role reversal, Selena took the last three games against her Taipei opponent after being down 1-3!

 

As feared, India’s Jeho Himnakulhpuingheta could not overcome his nemesis from Owen Cathcart in the final as the boy from Ireland enhanced his head-to-head reputation intact with a 3-0 score. In the Cadet Boys final, Owen defeated Jeho in straight games of 11-6, 12-10, 11-3, leaving the Indian to be content with the silver medal.  

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