The TIM Essonne tournament is in its 33rd year and is a major stopping point on the Tennis Europe 14 & Under circuit. Held in Sainte-Genevieve-des-Bois, France, with players from 29 countries, there are more than 100 people involved over 15 days to make sure that this tournament lives up to its reputation. This year did not disappoint, as Russian top seed Maria Bondarenko claimed the girls’ title, while we also saw a first ever winner from Switzerland in the boys’ singles, Jerome Kym.
British top seed Derrick Chen fell at the quarter final stage for a third consecutive tournament, having exited at the same stage in Stockholm and Tarbes. His conqueror was twelfth seed Jacobi Bain from the Bahamas, who was riding high after posting his own quarter final appearance in Stockholm.
Bain was then taken out by Kym, who would meet his French friend and number five seed Max Westphal in the final. Westphal had earlier progressed through the tournament without having lost a set. With the benefit of a bye in the first round he impressively took out Portuguese Miguel Gomes in the quarterfinals. The unseeded player had earlier dispatched of number two seeded Russian Robert Korelov.
Going into the final, local hopes were resting on Westphal’s shoulders. However, expectations outweighed performance and the match was relatively one-sided with the number 6 seeded Swiss player bringing home a rather convincing 6-3 6-2 win. The lefty made life very difficult for the local player with deep shots and tough angles to cover. His double-handed crosscourt backhand flew by Westphal and Kym became the first ever Swiss winner of the event.
Maria Bondarenko, as the number one girls’ seed, came through the first round with a bye and then played out two very difficult three setters against local qualifier Camille Belberka and Czech Linda Noskova. She turned it up a notch with easy wins in the quarters and semis on her way to the final where she beat Ukrainian second seed Lyubov Kostenko. In the latter stages of the event , she had not lost a set, and she continued that run in the final, claiming victory 6-2 6-3 in a match highlighted by rallies and consistent play from the back of the court. Bondarenko solidifies her status as one of the players to watch as she maintains her spot in the top three and claims her first singles title of the year.
Many eyes are on Leo Borg at the moment, and the Swede continued his impressive progress this season, partnering Derrick Chen to the finals of the boys doubles. They were taken down by Bain and Westphal 6-4 6-2. Meanwhile in the girls’ draw, the doubles event was provided more joy for Maria Bondarenko, as she teamed up with her compatriot Milana Zhabrailova. As the number two seeds, they defeated the number one seeded pairing of Polina Kudmertova from Russia and Turkey’s Selin Sepken 6-4 6-1. This adds to an impressive list of doubles titles for Bondarenko, as she was the winner of the doubles trophy in Stockholm, as well as three 16 & Under doubles events this year so far.
This week also saw two more Category 2 events. The 16 & Under Realsport Open took place in Milovice, Czech Republic. The prizes were split between the Czechs and the Italians. Samuel Vincent Ruggeri of Italy won the boys’ singles and partnered his compatriot Marcello Serafini to also win the doubles. Czech Nicola Breckova won the girls’ singles, while the doubles trophy went to fellow Czech players Klara Novakova & Terezie Pluharova.
Across the border in Slovakia, the 14 & Under Slovan Open took place in Bratislava. Vojtech Burian won the boys’ event, while Pola Wygonowska was the girls’ champion. Petar Teodorovic & Marko Topo won the boys’ doubles, while Amarissa Kiara Toth, on the back of her win in Stockholm, claimed the girls’ doubles trophy with Sara Suchankova.
Complete results from these events as well as Category 3 tournaments from the past week can be found here: http://www.tenniseurope.org/tournamentwinners.aspx