Inconsistency Costs Aussies Against Russia

Written by  Thursday, 25 October 2012 18:07

Australia will be ruing a missed opportunity after being defeated by Russia this morning in the opening round of the 2012 World Junior Championships. The 5-0 score line could have been very different had the Aussie managed to convert their opportunities, with three of the matches going to a third game. It was however the inconsistency of the Aussie teams play, giving away groups of consecutive point during crucial stages of each match, which ultimately cost them in the end.

Opening the tie for Australia was Gronya Somerville and Sawan Serasinghe in the mixed doubles. The first game was hard fought for the most part, however it was the Russian pair of Kargaev and Vorobyeva who skipped away to take the game 16-21. The Aussie duo managed to save one match point before winning an extremely tight second game 23-21. It looked as though the Aussies would get the tie off to a perfect start when they led 15-11 and then 16-13 in the decider, however 6 straight points to the Russians set up a match winning lead with the Aussies going down 19-21.

16 year old Daniel Guda was looking to level the tie when he took on Sergey Sirant in the men’s singles. Sirant jumped out to an early lead in the opening game, and while Guda drew close on many occasions he could never grab the ascendancy, with the Russian winning 17-21. The second games was a different story with Guda jumping to a 10-4 lead. However the young Aussie could not maintain his dominance with Sirant clawing back level at 12-12 before powering away to take the match 15-21.

With Russia now leading 0-2 the men’s doubles was a must win for the Aussies. After dominating the first set the Russian pairing of Kargaev and Zinchenko looked as though they would close out the tie for Russia when they reeled off 5 straight points to lead 18-15 in the second game. The Aussie pair of Serasinghe and Cham Chen had other ideas, winning 6 consecutive points of their own to push the match to a decider. Unfortunately for the Australian’s they could not work their way into the 3rd game, going down 12-21. With victory in the men’s doubles Russia now held an unassailable 3-0 lead.

Coming back from a serious knee injury earlier in the year, Verdet Kessler was aiming to get Australia on the board in the women’s singles. The first game seemed to follow the pattern of the day for the Aussies, with Kessler was trailing by just 2 points at 11-13, before her Russian opponent Kosetskaya moved away to win 13-21. A run of 8 points in a row by Kosetskaya midway through the second game set up a 21-11 win.

The last opportunity for Australia to get a win came in the ladies doubles, with perhaps our most experienced junior players Somerville and Guan up against Rogova and Morosova. Again with the scores tight at 14-15 in favour of the Russians, the Aussies gave away five consecutive points to set up a 15-21 win for the Russian’s. It was Guan and Somerville’s turn to string a run of points together in the second game, going from a 12-12 score line to a 21-14 win.

The final game saw a mental lapse from the Aussies who found themselves down 2-11 in next to know time. Although they fought gallantly to get back into the match the early deficit proved to be too much, with Rogova and Morosova holding on the win 18-21 and give Russia a 0-5 win on the day.

While the Australian Team will be very disappointed in the result but they can take away many positives from the tie, pushing one of the top nations in Europe. They showed they have the ability, now they just need to gain the experience and big event match practice to be able to perform in the crucial stages of a match.

They have very little time to reflect on the result, with a match this evening against Taiwan (6pm AEDT). Follow all the results from the World Junior Championships here.

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