The Indian girls never lost hope. Not only did they play their hearts out, they managed to match their experienced opponents at every point but lost the plot at crucial junctures. Inexperience did them in.
India lost 0-3 to Australia in their first round robin match of the Asia/Oceania Final Qualifying of the Junior Fed Cup on Tuesday.
Delhi girl Jasmine Kaur Bajaj began the proceedings for India. She had the strokes to match Belinda Woolcock, but unfortunately could not convert the break points.
The 14-year-old India No. 3, who has played only a few ITF tournaments, very confidently said: "I need to play a couple of more matches and soon be ready to face tougher opponents. It was basically inexperience that cost me the match." She went down 1-6, 4-6.
Having begun to train at the DLTA at the age of five, Jasmine now trains at Sirifort Sports Complex under Aditya Sachdeva. "I intend to play more ITF's in the future," she said. Having trained at the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy for four months at the age of 12, Jasmine idolises Serena Williams and is confident of making it to the big stage soon.
It was then the turn of India No. 1 Tahira Bhatti. She almost matched Australian Ashleigh Barty at every shot but it was the same story - converting shots when it mattered. After 58 minutes, the scoreboard showed 6-4, 6-2 in Barty's favour.
In the dead doubles, the combination of Tahira and Snehadevi Reddy gave Brooke Rischbieth and Woolcock a tough fight before bowing out 2-6, 5-7.
"My girls played very freely and gave it their best shot. We had nothing to lose," said India captain Shalini Thakur Chawla.