02 Dec 2018

Major contenders for honours, India, the no.5 seeds, emerged successful in their opening contest in the Boys’ Team event at the 2018 World Junior Championships in Bendigo, Australia on the afternoon of Sunday 2nd December but, in a competition where only first position in the group secures a quarter-final place alongside the top four seeds, they almost came to grief.

They were extended the full five match distance by Argentina, the no.13 seeds, the player to cause the problems being Martin Bentancor, the country’s representative at the recent Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

In the opening match of the fixture, he recovered from a two games to nil deficit to overcome Manush Utpalbhai Shah by the very narrowest of decisions (7-11, 8-11, 13-11, 12-10, 13-11). A fine performance, later in the fourth match of the engagement, he excelled the initial effort, he beat Manav Vikash Thakkar in four games (16-14, 6-11, 11-7, 11-9), a player in form. Less than four days earlier he had won the Junior Boys’ Singles title at the Portugal Junior and Cadet Open.

Wins from Martin Bentancor but that was to be the sum total of the South American country’s success. In the second match of the engagement, Santiago Lorenzo was beaten by Manav Vikash Thakkar (11-6, 11-5, 11-7), before in the vital fifth and deciding contest losing to Manush Utpalbhai Shah (11-5, 11-6, 12-10). Sandwiched in between, in the third match, Alexis Orencel suffered at the hands of Snehit Surravajjula (11-6, 11-9, 6-11, 11-7).

Tense moments for India, for the next three teams in the order of merit, life was less exacting.

The no.6 seeds, Romania represented by Cristian Pletea, Rares Sipos and Cristian Chirita, recorded a three-nil win in opposition to the no.14 seeds, Brazil’s Rafael Torino, Guilherme Teodoro and Eduardo Tomoike; similarly, Russia, the no.7 seeds, emerged successful by the same margin in opposition to New Zealand, the no.16 seeds. Russia selected Lev Katsman, Vladimir Sidorenko and Maksim Grebnev; for New Zealand the line-up read Nathan Xu, Zhao Yanglin and Alexander Zhou.

Convincing from Romania and Russia; it was the same from the no.8 seeds, the United States combination of Kanak Jha, Sharon Alguetti and Nicholas Tio. They recorded a three-nil win in opposition to the no.15 seeds, the host nation’s Finn Luu, Ben Gould and Nicholas Lum.

A further series of fixtures in the group stage of the Boys’ Team event will be completed later in the day.

World Junior Championships 2018 World Junior Championships Martin Bentancor

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Day 1 - 2018 World Junior Championships