CHANDIGARH, JAN 8 :It will be an all foreign affairs in the boys singles final tomorrow in the ITF Junior Tennis Tournament (Grade 3) for Under-18 being conducted by the Chandigarh Lawn Tennis Association at the Sector 10 Tennis Stadium here. Unseeded Laurent-Olivier Daxhele of Belgium will cross swords with qualifier Yoannis Hilelis of France in the final.
The foreign players held the spotlight in the boys singles semi-finals played today. At the centre court Laurent-Olivier Daxhele registered the biggest upset of the tournament as he stunned top seed Kaza Vinayak Sharma (India) 6-2, 4-6, 6-4. At the adjacent court Yoannis Hilelis ousted wild card Venkat Iyer of India 7-6 (4), 6-3.
However, second seed Kyra Shroff exhibited good tennis to outplay third seed Sachie Ishizu (Japan) 6-1, 7-5 in the girls singles semi-final. Giant-killer Valentina Starkova of Kazaksthan ousted Aishwarya Agarwal of India in straight sets 6-3, 6-2 in the second semi-final. Valentina Starkova had toppled the top seed Rashmi Teltumbde of India in quarter-final match yesterday.
Kaza Vinayak Sharma, ranked 84th in ITF, disappointed the home crowd as he made his exit.
In the first set, Kaza Sharma started by holding his serve to take a 1-0 lead. Daxhele held his serve to make it 1-1. Then he broke Sharma to take a 2-1 lead. By winning the fourth game on his serve, the Belgium player jumped to a crucial 3-1 lead. He again broke Sharma in the seventh game for a 5-2 lead and held his serve next to win the set at 6-2.
In the second set, after two-all, Daxhele broke Sharma in the fifth game and held his serve in the next to take a 4-2 lead. Down 2-4, Kaza Sharma staged a remarkable rally to win four games in a row as he won 6-4 to make it one set all.
Kaza Sharma went on to win the first three games (making it seven in a row) and raced to a 3-0 lead in the second set. Despite comfortably placed at 4-1, Sharma lost his concentration and lost the next five games in a row. Daxhele won the sixth, seventh (break), eighth, ninth (break) and 10 th games and the set.
In the second semi-final qualifier Yoannis Hilelis of France defeated wild card Venkat Iyer of India 7-6 (4), 6-3. They exchanged breaks in the fifth and eighth games (4-4) before making it six-all. Yoannis Hilelis clinched the set in tie-breaker at 7-6 (4).
They began the second set by exchanging breaks in the first two games. They then were tied three-all with Hilelis breaking Venkat in the sixth game. Snatching another break in the eighth game, Hilelis shattered the hopes of Iyer as the Frenchman won at 6-3. The match lasted 99 minutes.
Second seeded Kyra Shroff saved the day for India as she took just one hour and 25 minutes to dispose of the challenge of third seeded Japanese Ishizu Sachie in straight sets 6-1, 7-5. Strongly hitting from the baseline, Kyra broke Sachie in the fourth and sixth games to race to a 6-1 win in the first set. The second set was evenly contested before Kyra broke Sachie in the 11th game to take a 6-5 lead and then held her serve to win the set at 7-5 and the match.
Kyra Shroff will now face giant-killer sixth seed Valentina Starkova of Kazaksthan for the title tomorrow. In the second semi-final, maintaining her form, Valentina Starkova ousted unseeded Aishwarya Agarwal in straight sets in 74 minutes. In the first set, they were tied at three-all. Then Starkova broke Aishwarya in the seventh and ninth games to win the set at 6-3.
The second set saw Starkova racing to a 3-0 lead and increased it to 5-1. In the seventh game Starkova committed two double faults as Aishwarya broke her to make it 2-5. The eighth game, with Aiwhwarya serving, was decided after 18 points. With this break, Starkova stormed into the final.
Boys singles (semi-finals): Laurent-Olivier Daxhele (Bel) bt Kaza Vinayak Sharma (India) 6-2, 4-6, 6-4; Yoannis Hilelis (Fra) bt Venkat Iyer (Ind) 7-6 (4), 6-3.
Girls singles (semi-finals): Valentina Starkova (Kaz) bt Aishwarya Agarwal (Ind) 6-3, 6-2,
Kyra Shroff (Ind) bt Sachie Ishizu (Japan) 6-1, 7-5.
Boys doubles (semi-finals): Lakshit Sood and Chandril Sood bt Alexander Igoshin and Nikhail Titov 6-1, 2-6, 10-3, Jeroen Claeys and Jeroen Benard bt Saurabh Singh and Christopher Marquis 2-6, 6-1, 10-7.
Girls doubles (semis): Melis Sezer and Ishizu Sachie bt Prarthana Thombare and Ikttesh Chahal 6-1, 6-1, Kyra Shroff and Rashmi Teltumbde bt Alena Gersimova and Cladislava Kuzmenkova 6-2, 6-4.