12:55 pm
28 May 2024

Hosts Australia Make World Junior Teams Last Eight

26 Jul 2023

Hosts Australia produced an impressive comeback to defeat Tasman rivals New Zealand and progress through to the quarter-finals of the WSF Women's World Junior Team Championship for only the second time since 2005.

The No.8 seeds went into today's tie in Melbourne with the ninth-seeded Kiwis with both teams needing a win to progress after each lost to No.2 seeds Malaysia earlier in the week.

With teams playing a 3-2-1 string order, it was New Zealand who made the stronger start, with third string Anne Leakey getting the better of Hannah Slyth 3/0.

This left the hosts with no margin for error in their bid for a second consecutive last-eight finish.

Erin Classen began the fightback, with the Cape Town-born 18-year-old beating Sophie Hodges 3/1 to level the tie.

In the deciding match, first string Madison Lyon got the hosts over the line, with the 18-year-old looking assured on court as she downed Ella Lash 11-7, 10-12, 11-6, 11-5 to set up a last eight tie with top seeds and defending champions Egypt.

Afterwards, Classen said: "I feel good about that, there was a lot of pressure on that match because Australia really needed that so I'm really happy to have won it.

"[My teammates] were phenomenal as always. They really carried the team - more so than me probably!"

Also through to the last eight are USA, Hong Kong, England, India, and Canada, with each side picking up comfortable wins to seal their places in the knockout stage.

No.2 seeds Malaysia, like Egypt, secured their place in the quarter-finals yesterday after topping their three-team pool with two wins out of two.