The Tennis Europe Junior Tour event roundup is back this week to coincide with the latest Category 1 tournaments. Many other events have also taken place over the past seven days as the clay court season gathers pace. Some familiar names have made their mark but, as always, there have been a number of interesting stories along the way...
Category 1 Events
16 & Under XV TORNEIG JOAN MIR IN MEMORIAM - Torelló, Spain
With full draws of 32 players and no byes awarded in this tournament, there were many matches held on the dusty clay courts of Torelló in Spain. Located inland halfway between Barcelona and the Pyrenees, players descended on this village en masse to take part in the fifteenth Joan Mir Memorial Tournament.
A surprise semi-finalist was Italian qualifier Mauro de Maio, who went down to the eventual finalist from Hungary. There was, however, a bigger surprise from the outset in the boys’ event, as unseeded local wildcard Max Alcalá stormed through the draw. He picked apart the players one by one and went from strength to strength, taking out Estonian number one seed Alexander Georg Mandma in a tough three set semi-final. Having earlier defeated the number three seed in the quarter final, he overcame the second seeded Bulgarian Anthony Genov 6-2 6-3 in the final for his first win at this level. As a wildcard recipient, this makes for an amazing result as he beat the top three seeds in three consecutive matches to take home the trophy in his home country.
The girls’ tournament was somewhat more of a straightforward event with the number one seed and the number two seed facing off in the final. Apart from Carole Monnet’s three-set win in the semi final over Spanish player Cristina Mayorova, both finalists advanced to the finals without many difficulties. As was to be expected, the battle of the top seeds turned out to be a real fight. The second seeded Estonian Carol Plakk was too strong in the end, coming away with a tough 2-6 6-1 7-5 victory. Overall, there were very consistent performances by the girls, with six of the top eight seeds making it through to the quarterfinals alongside two wildcard entrants.
In doubles, there was to be some consolation for the boys’ top seed Mandma. He teamed up with Pole Mikolaj Lorens to win the title over Italians De Maio and Fausto Tabacco 6-1 6-2. In the girls doubles Plakk just failed to secure a title sweep, losing in the final with her Czech partner Zdena Safarova to the Russian-Italian combination of Kira Pavlova & Sofia Rocchetti 6-3 7-6(2).
14 & Under BOHEMIA CAFEX CUP - Rakovnik, Czech Republic
The first big upset of the week’s premier 14 & Under event happened when top seeded local player, Daniel Siniakov, was ousted in the first round by Italian qualifier Carlos Fernando Carvalho. This opened the door for the other seeds and they jumped at the chance to make an impact. The final was played out between number three seed Tsotne Dzimistarishvili of Georgia and Adam Jurajda of the Czech Republic. One break made the difference as the local player took the first set before cruising to a 6-4 6-0 victory.
The girls’ event went with form as Czech top seed Darja Vidmanova won the final over Croatian eleventh seed Antonia Ruzic 7-5 6-0. Although it was her third final loss for the season, she had gallantly fought her way to the final with solid wins over the fourth and fifth seeds. For Vidmanova, it was a first Category 1 title, and sees her win/loss record for the year improve to an impressive 27/7.
The aforementioned Czech boys teamed up to make it to the doubles final but were stopped at the last hurdle. They went down in a topsy turvy final 6-0 0-6 10-8 to the number four seeds from Sweden, Leo Borg & Michael Minasyan. The girls’ doubles saw local victors in the form of seventh seeded Patricie Kubikova & Anna Panchartek, who saw off the top seeds from Poland Rozalia Gruszczynska & Pola Wygonowska 6-0 6-1.
Category 2 Events
16&U + 14&U GRAWE OPEN - Maribor, Slovenia
This combined event - the first of two busy weeks in Maribor - provided a feast of tennis, with big draws in both age categories. In the 16 and Under event there was joy for the locals as sixth seeded Slovenian Jan Kupcic took out the top seeded Austrian Lucas Neumayer in the quarterfinals. He was able to carry this form all the way through to the final where he defeated his third seeded compatriot Filip Jeff Planinsek 6-2 6-4 for his second singles title of the season. More joy came for the home supporters as unseeded Tjasa Klevisar defeated Hungarian number one seed Zita Kovacs 6-3 6-1 to secure her first title of the year. The boys’ doubles trophy went to the Swiss pairing of Leandro Riedi & Dominic Stephan Stricker, while another Swiss player Sophie Luescher teamed with Austrian Marie Osterreicher to win the girls’ doubles crown.
The 14 and Under category brought more silverware for the Slovenians as Gal Emersic Potocnik defeated top seeded Swiss Jerome Kym 6-4 6-4 in the boys’ final. Slovakian players dominated the girls’ event, where Vanda Vargova defeated compatriot Inez Maria Kotlikova 6-1 6-1 in the title match. A third Slovakian, Mia Chudejova, teamed with Czech Denisa Hrdinkova to win the girls’ doubles, while Jerome Kym teamed up with fellow Swiss Yarin Aebi to claim the boys’ title.
14 & Under TORNEO PAVIA - Pavia, Italy
Despite players from almost 20 countries being in action, just one non-Italian player was able to leave Pavia with a trophy, as Russia’s Tatiana Muzykantskaya claimed a runner-up spot to Lisa Pigato in the girls’ singles. All other finals turned out to be all-Italian affairs, with Luca Nardi defeating Giorgio Tabacco 6-1 6-1 to win the boys’ title and teaming with Alessio Tramontin to win the doubles. Following suit, Pigato also claimed a double win, capping a great weekend by teaming with Beatrice Ricci to win the girls’ title.
14 & Under OPALENICA CUP 2017 - Opalenica, Poland
Poland’s Opalenica Cup returned, with strong representation from eastern European players. The boys’ final saw a battle between the top seeds as #2 German Samofalov of Ukraine defeated Russian top seed Robert Korelov in a marathon 6-3 3-6 7-5 match. Another Russian, Kristina Volgapkina, lost out in the girls’ final, as Belarusian Aliona Falei claimed her third Tennis Europe Junior Tour singles title of 2017 with a 6-4 6-3 win. The tables were turned in the doubles final, where Volgapina teamed with Kristina Dmitruk to exact revenge with a win over Falei and partner Evialina Laskevich, while Poland’s Alan Bojarski & Sandro Szic ensured that at least one of the trophies would stay on home soil as they picked up the boys’ doubles title.
For full results from the above events, category 3 tournaments as well as last week’s 12 and Under events, please click here.