Team USA recorded pivotal wins over Canada and hosts France to place seventh at the biennial WSF World Junior Men’s Team Championship–the first to be held since 2018–Sunday, August 21 in Nancy, France.
The U.S. squad entered pool E as 7/9 seeds alongside five seeds France, 16/18 seeds Ukraine and 19/21 seeds Spain. Pool E progressed according to seeding as the U.S. dispatched both Ukraine and Spain, and fell in a close contest to France, ensuring a top twelve spot in the 1-12 playoffs.
The U.S. drew its northern neighbors and fellow 7/9 seeds Canada in the first round of the 1-12 playoff. Jacob Lin earned Canada a win in the No. 1 position against Avi Agarwal 6-11, 11-7, 14-12, 11-5. Rehan Luthra provided a win for the U.S. in the No. 3 position, defeating Joseph Toth 11-8, 9-11, 11-6, 11-5. Tad Carney sealed the win the U.S. with a narrow five-game victory over Mohamed Kamal in the No. 2 position, 7-11, 11-6, 11-6, 5-11, 11-9, setting up a quarterfinal match up against top seeds Egypt.
The U.S. fell short in the quarterfinals against the title favorites, as Tad Carney went down 3-0 to individual finalist Mohamed Zakaria, and Avi Agarwal was forced to retire in the third game after taking the first to give Egypt’s its second win.
U.S. focus then shifted to the 5-8 playoffs where a short-handed two-man U.S. side fell 2-1 against six seeds India, despite Reehan Luthra recording a victory in the No. 1 position.
The U.S. ended the tournament on a high note, avenging their pool play loss against France with a 2-0 victory. Avi Agarwal and Zane Patel both pulled off four-game wins to ensure Team USA fulfilled its highest seeding.
“I’m very proud of how the team conducted themselves in France, they knew what it meant to have USA on their backs, whether it was giving every ounce of effort on court or supporting their teammates when they needed it most,” said Luke Butterworth, U.S. Junior Men’s Head Coach. “This is an exciting group of players with so much potential, some of whom will return next year and can draw from this valuable experience of playing against the world’s best.”
In the main draw, England upset Egypt 2-1 to win its first World Junior Men’s Team Title in twenty-two years. After the conclusion of the tournament, it was announced that the 2023 World Juniors will be held in Australia.
For more tournament coverage visit wsfworldjuniors.com.