The Philippines downed New Zealand, 2-0, to settle for fifth place in the Under-14 World Juniors Tennis (WJT) Girls Asia/Oceania Final Qualifying tournament at the National Tennis Development Center in Nonthaburi, Thailand on Saturday.
Ma. Carmencita Isabela Carlos rallied past Tina Marie Li, 5-7, 6-3, 6-1, to win the first singles while Alexandra Eala outclassed Vivian Yang, 6-1, 6-2, in the second singles. The doubles match between Carlos-Eala and Li-Yang was not played.
"I won my singles match today (Saturday) against Team New Zealand. Although our team fell short of qualifying in the World Finals, Team Philippines placed fifth, which is our best finish in almost 25 years. I'm proud to have been part of this team and represented my country for the past three years. Thank you for all your prayers and support," said the 13-year-old Carlos in a message posted on Facebook after her match.
The Philippines won over Australia, 2-1, last Friday to advance against New Zealand, which defeated South Korea, 2-1.
Meanwhile, China outplayed Japan, 2-1, in the championship round. Ayaka Koga downed Xinyi Nong, 6-1, 6-3, in the first singles but Xintong Wang won the singles over Kyoka Kubo, 6-4, 6-4, while Nong and Wang beat Pete Komada and Kubo, 6-1, 6-2, in the doubles.
Thailand finished third after posting a 2-1 victory over Chinese Taipei. Ya-Yi Yang gave Chinese Taipei a 1-0 lead when she won the first singles over Salakthip Ounmuang, 6-2, 6-3. However, Thailand took the second singles after Lanlana Tararudee beat Yu-Yun Li, 6-3, 6-4, and clinched the doubles match after Kittika Aeb-iem and Tararudee outplayed Li and Yang, 6-4, 6-4.
Australia clobbered South Korea, 3--0, for seventh place. Catherine Aulia blanked Eun Ji Lee, 6-0, 6-0; Charlotte Kempenaers Pocz demolished Soo Ha Jang, 6-0, 6-1; and Aulia teamed up with Mia Repac to beat Hee Rae Im and Jang, 7-5, 7-5.
In other results, Hong Kong trounced Malaysia, 2-0, for ninth place; India beat Indonesia, 2-0, for 11th place; Uzbekistan conquered Sri Lanka, 2-0, for 13th place; and Kazkahstan won over Lebanon, 2-0, for 15th place.
China, Japan, Thailand and Chinese Taipei have earned slots in the WJT Finals which will be held in Prostejov, Czech Republic in August. Last year, the United States defeated Ukraine, 2-1, to claim its seventh title.*PNA
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