In Doha, local lad avenges defeat, helps team clinch under-14 title
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It was more than a revenge match for Sumit Pal Singh when he faced Ching Lam in the first of the two single matches in the final. Sumit Pal, the Chandigarh lad, had lost his lone match in the tournament to this player from Hong Kong in the initial stages when the two sides met four days ago at the Khalifa International Tennis & Squash Complex in Doha, Qatar. Even though India won that match 2-1, the defeat was too much for Sumit Pal to digest.
On Friday, Sumit Pal turned in one of his most inspired efforts of the tournament and overcame Lam 7-6, 6-2 to avenge his defeat. His victory gave a winning start to India in the final and provided the perfect cushion for Pariskshit Somani, his teammate, who later snubbed Alan Sou's challenge and beat him 6-7, 6-2, 6-3. The 2-0 win meant India did not have to play the doubles match as they wrapped up the final and lifted the Qatar Asian Junior Team Cup Under-14 title.
"Sumit Pal played well throughout the tournament and except for the defeat against Lam, he won all the singles and doubles matches. It is really good to see someone from Chandigarh doing well at the international circuit and helping the Indian team win the title," said Gajendra Singh, director (coaching), CLTA, where Sumit Pal undergoes training.
Sumit Pal, playing in his first international tournament, won nine of the 10 matches he played and played a stellar role in helping India end on the winning note. With this, he bid a befitting adieu to the year in which he won his first singles nationals title and now, his first international medal with the Indian team.
However, his dream run has not ended here. For one more week, he will live the fairytale and have the most memorable New Year celebration as the Indian team will enjoy the hospitality of the Qatar Tennis Federation for another week. During that time, they will get to watch the starting tournament on the ATP World Tour in the form of the Qatar ExxonMobil Open 2014 in Doha.
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