India’s Manav Thakkar beat Feng Yi-Hsin of Chinese Taipei 11-7, 8-11, 11-4, 9-11, 14-12, 11-1 to enter the Junior Boys singles quarterfinals in the 2018 World Junior Championships at Bendigo in Australia on Saturday.
However, Manush Shah and Jeet Chandra exited after losing their main draw matches in the first round itself. Chandra lost to Romanian Cristian Plelta 8-11, 5-11, 8-11, 8-11 while Shah went down to Singapore’s Pang Yew En Koen in a hard-fought round of 32 match 11-6, 9-11, 11-4, 5-11 4-11, 7-11.
Before taking on the Taipei opponent, the second-seeded Thakkar defeated Canada’s Jeremy Hazin 11-9, 11-6, 11-3, 11-5 to earn a meeting with Feng, who was equally adept to the demands of the round of 16 ties when he took on the Indian.
Despite the Indian taking the first game for a psychological advantage, the Taipei boy came back strongly in the second to level score. The match, tantalisingly poised, went the same way until the fourth game. But the tie took a definite turn when Thakkar managed to win the fifth game after four deuces and saving two game points.
From there, it was the Indian all the way as his Taipei opponent seemed to have thrown in the towel after the crucial loss in the fifth game.
He takes on China’s Xiang Peng in the quarter-finals later on Saturday. If he gets past the Chinese hurdle, the Indian will play the winner of the quarter-final between Japan’s Yukiya Uda and China’s Xu Yingbin.
Earlier, the sixth seeded pair of Manav Thakkar and Manush Shah did well to survive against Argentina’s Martin Bentancor and Santiago Lorenzo to enter the quarter-finals, winning the contest 12-14, 11-8, 11-6, 11-13, 11-7. They will take on Tapie’s Feng Yi-Hsin and Li Hsin-Yang in the quarter-finals.
But the other pair of Jeet Chandra and Snehit Suravajjula, who came within a whisker of causing a major upset only to be denied the chance when the second-seeded duo of Cristian Pleta and Rares Sipos from Romania beat the Indians 11-7, 11-3, 9-11, 9-11, 12-10 in the decider.