“This was my first time in a final so I was as hungry as a lion to win it,” said third seed Jun Yan Tao shortly after taking the boy’s under 18 singles title in the first of two International Tennis Federation (ITF) Under 18 tournaments played at the Sri Lanka Tennis Association (SLTA) Courts yesterday.
Tao took just one hour and 20 minutes to dispose of 4th seed and Sri Lanka’s hope Dinesh Kanthan Thangarajah 6-2, 6-0.
Tao got to the final by defeating top seeded Indian S. Sivakumar in the semi final 6-0, 6-2. But to win the final was his aim. Tao’s single minded pursuit of the crown negated the searing early evening heat and humidity. “I have played in different countries like Thailand and Indonesia and I was not going to let anything get in my way of winning the crown. I like Sri Lanka and enjoyed my stay here. And no, I will not be staying for the second tournament which starts on Monday as I am flying back home,” said Tao to the Sunday Times.
Even the most ardent Chinese fan would not have predicted such a one sided final when the match got under way at 3pm. Tao started the match and held serve as did Thangarajah.
But Thangarajah failed to take advantage of an opening given to him in the third game after Tao double faulted. Thangarajah squandered two game points but held serve in the fourth game to level
Unfortunately for Sri Lanka and Thangarajah it was one way traffic, from the fifth game onwards as Tao broke Thangarajah’s service and went n to win the first set in 45 minutes.
Tao seemed to get more confident as the game progressed and finished the second set in 35 minutes. And thus the game ended with Thangarajah serving a double fault in the final point of the match.