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Tough day at the tennis academy

19 August 2014

TENNIS: It’s been another huge day at the tennis academy for the second summer Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China.

The whole Australian team took to the court on the third day of the tennis, with 17-year-old Marc Polmans the only team member not to play two games.

“I was pretty pumped, it is because it was my only match, I was looking forward to it, Polmans said.

The Aussie’s contested four matches today – men’s singles, women’s doubles and both sets of mixed doubles.

Naiktha Bains and Priscilla Hon were first up in the women’s doubles, taking on Sonya Kenin (USA) and Renata Zarazua Ruckstuhl (MEX).

The two got off to a blinding start, controlling the game in all areas, breaking serve twice to push the first set to 5-1. The girls dropped a few crucial points, which caused a drop in momentum allowing their opponents to fight back and eventually take the first set in a tie-break 7-6.

Having dominated the first set only to come up empty handed, didn’t give the girls much confidence as they moved into the second. Though the Aussies fought hard, their opponents took the set and the match 7-6 6-1.

“We were up 5-1 in the first, we we’re all over them in the start and then we kind of let them back into it at 5-1, said Bains.

“I think we lost a couple of deuce games at 5-1, they got back into it and obviously felt more confident and once they’d won that first set they had plenty of confidence.”

“We didn’t start that well in the second either, which didn’t help us.”

After winning his first round match on day 1, Harry Bourchier played his second round match against Russian, Karen Khachanov. The match was tight to say the least and could have easily gone either way. Bouchier was unfortunate not to capitalised on some crucial points, going down in straight sets 6-4 6-2.

In the first of the evening matches, Naiktha Bains lined up for the second time, teaming up with Marc Polmans for the mixed doubles. They faced Hungarian, Fanni Ivett Stollar and Kamil Adrian Majchrzak from Poland.

The duo contested well the first set, taking it out 6-4. They started strong in the second but came unstuck on some crucial points, losing out at 3-6.

In doubles, instead of a third set, players move into a super tie-break, first to seven points wins. Points went back and forth and the Aussies were on the ropes several times but Marc Polmans pulled of some amazing work at the net to keep them in the race.

“I like doubles because it’s all about serve volleying at the net, I really like playing that sort of game style and it was good to get a few matches before the US Open so it’s been a good warm up,” Polmans added.

As hard as they fought, Polmans and Bains went down in the tie-break 11-14.

In the final match of the evening, Priscilla Hon teamed up with Bourchier in the other mixed doubles match. The two met international duo, Jil Teichmann (SUI) and Jan Stanislaw Zielinski (POL) but were outplayed. The two went down in straight sets 3-6 4-6.

Bains now remains the only Aussie flying the flag at the YOG, she takes on Anhelina Kalinina in the next round of the women’s singles tomorrow.

The four team members all head to the US Open in the next couple of weeks to compete in the junior competition. They have all enjoyed using the YOG as a great opportunity to hone their skills ahead of the slam.

“I was looking forward to getting out and competing so that was good fun but it’s all over now so I’ll just be training for the US Open in a few weeks time,” Polmans said post match.

Sam Rawlings

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