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Shoaib fights back to enter junior tennis final


December 4, 2020

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s Mohammad Shoaib defeated Siddhartha Lama of USA in a thrilling three-set match to make it to the final of the ITF J5 Junior Tennis Championships II boys’ singles event here at the PTF Complex on Thursday.

Shoaib won 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 but not before he was stretched to full distance by Siddhartha.

The American was first to make an impression winning the first set by breaking Shoaib twice. He also lost his serve once in the process to take the first set.

In the second set, both the players displayed quality tennis from the baseline. Shoaib built up a commanding 5-1 lead by breaking first and third game of Lama. Lama broke the 8th game of Shoaib after three deuces.

Shoaib won the second set at 6-3 by breaking the last game of Lama at 0-40 by hitting some good passing shots.

In the final set, long rallies were witnessed from the baseline as the score went up to 4-4, with both the players holding their respective serves. Shoaib claimed the final set 6-4 by breaking the 10th game of the final set to move into the final.

He will now face Roy Keegan (Great Britain) who got a walkover against Rohan Belay (USA).

Abhilasha Bista of Nepal and Arina Valitova (Russia) won the girls doubles title by beating the pair of Zoha Asim (Pakistan) and Margarita Okhendovskaya (Ukraine) in straight sets 6-3, 6-2.

Arina Valitova and Abhilasha Bista will vie for the top honor in the girls’ singles final.

In the first semi-final of the girls’ singles event, top seed Arina Valitova was in fine touch and registered a straight-set win against Margarita Okhendovskaya with a score of 6-3, 6-1 by playing powerful forehand and backhand drives.

Abhilasha Bista (Nepal) won her match against Zoha Asim 6-4, 6-2 in the second semi-final. Zoha made a number of unforced errors at the crucial stages of the match.

In the boys’ doubles event, Mohammad Shoaib and Ahmed Kamil of Pakistan also got walkover against Rohan Belday and Alexander Karman of USA as Rohan Belday was unable to play on account of medical reasons.

In the other semi-final, Aarav Samrat Hada and Aki Zuben Rawat of Nepal won their match against Abdullah of Pakistan and Aoi Ooka of Japan in a thrilling, well contested two-set match 7-6(5), 6-3.

Results: Girls’ doubles final: Abhilasha Bista (Nep) & Arina Valitova (Rus) bt Zoha Asim (Pak) & Margarita Okhendovskaya (Ukraine) 6-3, 6-2.

Boys’ singles semi-finals: Muhammad Shoaib (Pak) bt Siddhartha Lama (USA) 4-6, 6-3, 6-4; Roy Keegan (Gbr) got w/o Rohan Belday (USA).

Boys’ doubles semi-finals: Aarav Samrat Hada (Nep) & Aki Zuben Rawat (Nep) bt Abdullah. (Pak) & Aoi Ooka (Jpn) 7-6(5), 6-3; Ahmed Kamil (Pak) & Muhammad Shoaib (Pak) got w/o Rohan Belday (USA) & Alexander Karman (USA).

Girls’ singles semi-finals: Arina Valitova (Rus) bt Margarita Okhendovskaya (Ukraine) 6-3, 6-1; Abhilasha Bista (Nep) bt Zoha Asim (Pak) 6-4, 6-2.