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Juniors just miss semis

By Mark Etheridge

Our Junior Davis Cup tennis team narrowly missed making the semi-finals of the competition on Thursday despite winning their second successive round robin match in Mexico.

Playing in Group D South Africa whitewashed Russia 3-0 in their third match in the high-altitude city of San Luis Potosi.

The victory comes on the back of a 3-0 defeat to Canada in their opening clash and then a 2-1 defeat of seventh seeds Australia earlier in the week.

In singles play on Thursday, Wayne Montgomery beat Artem Oganesyan in straight sets 6-2 6-2 and then Marc van der Merwe accounted for Evgeny Karlovskiy 3-6 6-3 6-4. The doubles combination of Matthew Rousouw and Van der Merwe then beat Kalrovskiy and Georgy Shashkanov in a closely fought two-set encounter 7-6 7-6.

In the other Group D clash on Thursday, Australia beat Canada 2-1. The completion of the round-robin phase saw Canada and Australia occupying the top two spots of Group D with South Africa third and Russia fourth. This was despite SA and Australia finishing on a level-pegging with Australia in terms of matches won and lost. The position was then decided on games won and lost.

South Africa now contest the 9-12th place play-offs and come up against fifth-seeded Czech Republic, while eighth seeds China play Serbia in the other match.

The competition’s top four seeds all made it through to the semi-finals — France, Canada, Japan and Great Britain.