Curmi, Bencheikh edged out of Australian Open Juniors
Francesca Curmi's run at the Australian Open Juniors came to an end on Thursday when the young Maltese player and her partner Loudmilla Bencheikh lost to Natsumi Kawaguchi, of Japan, and Hungary's Adriann Nagy 6-4 2-6 10-7.
It was a heartbreaking defeat for Curmi and Bencheikh who looked set to complete another impressive fight back after losing the opening set to the tournament's third seeds.
In fact after conceding the first set 6-4, Curmi and Bencheikh managed to break their more-quoted opponents twice in the second set to level the match.
However, in the tie breaker, Nagy and Kawaguchi showed all their experience in dealing with high pressure as they led from the outset and seal their passage into Friday's final.
Nagy and Kawaguchi will face the winners of the other semi-final between American duo Chloe Beck and Emma Navarro who were facing Daria Frayman, of Russia, and Federica Rossi, of Italy.
Despite Curmi's exit, the Australian Open Juniors has been a huge positive for Maltese tennis as Curmi and her compatriot Helene Pellicano both achieved some excellent results in the Grand Slam tournament.
After their disappointing first round exit in the singles tournament, Curmi and Pellicano managed to reach the latter stages of the tournament.
Pellicano, along with Spanish partner Marta Custic reached the quarter-finals before going out in a three-set thriller to Beck and Navarro.