by Simon Daish
Heading into the day’s action the top two seeds were the favourites to reach the final with both India and Belgium having booked their places in the semi-finals, yet as events transpired neither one of the two nations achieved that goal as Russia and Portugal progressed to the title deciding match instead.
The final may not have featured the two highest ranked sides, but there was still plenty of drama for the spectators to enjoy.
José Pedro Francisco and Samuel Da Silva gave Portugal the perfect start to the final following their victories over Russia’s Ilya Isakov (11-5, 11-4, 11-5) and Anton Kotov (11-7, 7-11, 11-8, 13-11) in the opening two matches, but the third seeds responded well as Pavel Linev edged out Vitor Amorim (8-11, 5-11, 11-2, 11-6, 12-10) to reduce the score deficit.
Stepping up to complete the job José Pedro Francisco saw off Anton Kotov (11-3, 6-11, 12-10, 8-11, 11-4) to grab his second win of the tie and give Portugal the trophy.
There may have been no meeting of the top two seeded sides in the Junior Boys’ Doubles competition, but the Junior Girls’ Doubles final did feature that showdown as India took on representatives from Croatia, England and the USA.
Amy Wang of the USA put in a terrific performance for the mixed nationality team as she picked up a brace of wins in the final, but with England’s Denise Payet losing out to Archana Girish Kamath (8-11, 3-11, 9-11) and Moumita Dutta (7-11, 6-11, 6-11) alongside a defeat for Croatia’s Marta Vukelic against Priyanka Pareek (8-11, 7-11, 7-11) the title went to India by a 1-3 scoreline.
Victory for India in the Junior Girls’ Team tournament was matched in the Cadet Girls’ Team draw as the squad of Diya Parag Chitale and Anusha Kutumbale produced a 3-1 upset against Hungary ‘A’, while Ireland’s Owen Cathcart and Norway’s Borgar Haug claimed the Cadet Boys’ Team crown with a 3-2 triumph over Belgium ‘A’.