KARACHI: Pakistan U14 team got off to the worst start in the qualifying round of the World Juniors Tennis Asia-Oceania Zone match, going down to Hong Kong 3-0 in Kuching, Malaysia.
The junior team, seeded second at the event, lost to Vietnam in the pre-qualifying finals after defeating Syria, Singapore and Sri Lanka in the competition.
However, in the final qualification round yesterday, Pakistan’s undefeated singles junior player Muazammil Murtaza lost his first match in the tournament to Ming Chun Alan Sou 6-0, 6-2. In the second match, Nofil Kaleem was outplayed by Ching Lam 6-4, 6-2 before the defeat was completed in the doubles rubber with Muzammil and Abdaal Haider losing to Lam and Wai Leuk Alan Lee 6-4, 6-2.
The team will take on Japan in their second Group A match today. The top two in the four-team group will qualify for the quarter-finals.
So far Hong Kong and Japan, after their win over Vietnam, are leading the group with one win apiece.
Pakistan will have to win both their remaining two matches to book a place in the quarter-finals.
If the team successfully reaches the final of the qualifiers, they will book a spot in the World Juniors Tennis championship that takes place in August in Czech Republic.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 9th, 2013.