ISLAMABAD    -     Pakistan’s top junior player Huzaifa Abdul Rehman moved into the boys’ singles final of the ITA-SNGPL ITF Pakistan World Junior Tennis Championship 2019 after toppling Shoaib Khan in the semifinal here at the Dilawar Abbas PTF Tennis Complex on Thursday.

Korean Dong Hwan Kim’s dream run continued unabated, as he hammered compatriot Min-Joon Kim in straight sets in another semifinal without any major resistance. In girls’ singles event, top seed Aysegul Mert of Turkey will play the final against second seed Russian Arina Valitova, as they outclassed their respective opponents in the semifinals.

The semifinal between Huzaifa and Shoaib was expected to be a nail-biting thriller by the spectators, but the former showed his command and completely outclassed his opponent. Shoaib was unable to resist his opponent, who played aggressive tennis and took the first set 6-3 before winning the second set with the same scores.

It was unseeded Hwan, who had earlier recorded an upset victory against top seed England’s Daniel Webb in their quarterfinal, against third seed Min-Joon in the other semifinal. It was like dream come true for Hwan, who was looking cool, calm and composed. He played aggressive tennis right from the start, put enormous pressure on his opponent and won the first set 6-3. He continued with his heroics and took the second set 6-1 to set up final date with Huzaifa.

In the girls’ first semifinal, Mert and Korean Soo Ha Jang displayed excellent tennis skills right from the word go. A beautiful combination of cross court and down the line shots was witnessed during the match. Mert won the first set 7-5 by breaking the 11th game of her opponent. She did not allow her opponent to settle down in the second set, as she played powerful forehand and backhand shots to win the set 6-0 without conceding a single game.

The second semifinal was a one-sided affair, as Valitova dominated the entire match against Korean Ji-Woo Choi. Valitova played powerful forehand cross court and down the line drives. She quickly built up 4-0 lead in the first set by breaking second and fourth games of her opponent. After clinching the first set 6-4, she was not in a mood to let her opponent settle down in the second set, which she ultimately won with the scores of 6-1 to set up final meeting with Mert.

In the boys’ doubles semifinals, Shoaib/Huzaifa beat Pakistan’s Muhammad Nauman Aftab/Iranian Erikin Tootoonchi Moghadam 6-2 and 6-1 while Hwan/Min-Joon thumped German Emanuel Knese/Sri Lankan Kavisha Ratnayake, 6-3 and 6-2. In girls’ doubles semifinals, Mert/Valitova beat Choi/Jang 1-6, 6-4, 10-7 while Iranian pair Mahta Khanlool/Meshkatolzahra Safi defeated Moldova’s Aliya Abbas/France’s Clemence Thouard 6-1, 6-4.

Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF) President Salim Saifullah Khan, PTF officials and a large number of tennis fans witnessed the semifinals. The finals of the doubles will be played today (Friday) at 2:30pm, while the boys’ singles final between Huzaifa and Hwan will be played tomorrow (Saturday) at the same time.