Last week was another busy one for the Tennis Europe Junior Tour, headlined by the Category 1 14 & Under Piestany Cup in Slovakia. There were also some important Category 2 events being played this week across the continent, with many of the Tour’s best players in action.
Category 1 Events
14&U 24th PIESTANY CUP U14 2017 - Piestany, Slovakia
A new crop of players is starting to make its mark at this level in the boys singles. Building on a pair of wins in this category in 2016 as well as some positive results in some 16 & Under events this year, Hamad Medjedovic of Serbia progressed to the final as could be expected of the tournament’s top seed. Although tested in the third round by American Dali Blanch and French boy Giovanni Mpetshi Perricard in the quarterfinals, Medjedovic’s route to the final was otherwise straightforward.
His opponent in the final was another French player, Sean Cuenin, the twelfth seed, who had crept through the draw fairly easily. A solid win over Leo Borg in the third round was confidence-boosting for the Frenchman who outdid the higher seeded player from Sweden. His run continued as he took out the number two seed in the quarterfinals and the number four seed in the semi finals.
All of these tough matches perhaps took their toll as he unfortunately had to retire in the final after having put up a fight in the first set, going down 4-6 to Medjedovic. Although he had to retire, the result will certainly boost his ranking considerably from his current position of #57, while fourth-ranked Medjedovic increases his claim for a place at the very top of the rankings.
In the girls’ draw things were going according to plan for number one seeded Russian Oksana Selekhmeteva all the way to the final, winning all matches comfortably. In the semi-final she saw off Slovakian third seed Sara Suchankova 6-0 6-4 to set up a showdown with another home player, Vanda Vargova. On the other side of the draw, Vargova was playing some inspired tennis having not lost a set on her way to the final including a win over the second seed in the semi-finals. One break in each set was all that was necessary for the underdog to overcome the European #1 6-4 7-5 in the final and lift the trophy in front of her home crowd. The win caps a dream fortnight for Vargova, who also won the title last week in Maribor.
Moving to the doubles, there was not a lot of fanfare as the number one boys’ seeds progressed to the final where they met the fifth seeded French pair, both of whom qualified for the finals with super tiebreak victories in their respective semifinals. The scene was set for a showdown and the boys did not disappoint, putting on a fantastic display of tennis. Adam Jurajda & Daniel Siniakov of the Czech Republic took the first set, but lost the second in a tiebreaker to Giovanni Perricard & Mehdi Sadaoui of France. Another tense championship tiebreak was to decide the result, and in the end, the final went the way of the French players 6-3 6-7(4) 10-8.
In the girls’ doubles the number one seeded locals, Suchankova & Vargova, were upset in the semifinals by Tilwith Di Girolami (BEL) & Na Dong (CHN). The seventh seeds then went down to the Slovak-Czech pair of Bianca Behulova & Darja Vidmanova in the final in another championship tiebreak, with a final score of 6-2 5-7 10-5.
Category 2 Events
16 & Under + 14 & Under BERGANT MEMORIAL - Maribor, Slovenia
For a second successive week a combined age event took place in Slovenia, with many familiar names and players on courts eager to follow up or improve on their results from last week’s Grawe Open.
In the boys 16 and Under there was a surprise winner in the form of seventh seeded Italian Leonardo Malgaroli. He defeated Slovenian Filip Jeff Plannisek, who had earlier knocked out the fancied top seed from Austria, Lukas Neumayer. In the girls’ draw there were not as many surprises, however we did see two unseeded local players, Alea Bubek & Tjasa Klevisar, make their way through to the semi finals, giving the local crowds plenty to cheer for. In the end, it was the top seed from the Czech Republic, Marketa Panackova, who won the title 6-3 6-4 over Slovakian Inez Maria Kotlikova.
Good results for the locals kept coming, as yet another unseeded Slovenian pairing won the boys’ doubles. Gasper Oblak & Tilen Potocnik defeated top seeds Neumayer and his Italian partner Samuel Vincent Ruggeri 2-6 7-5 11-9 in a thrilling final. And another unseeded pair, Katarina Duic Plumtree & Nina Svetec of Croatia, were victorious in the girls’ doubles.
In the 14&U category both of the top seeds, Jerome Kym (SUI) and Marissa Kiara Toth (HUN) made off with the titles in the boys’ and girls’ singles. It is Toth’s maiden win of the season, and she took it with a 6-0 6-1 win over Hanne Vandewinkel of Belgium. In his third final of the year, Kym claimed his second trophy with a 6-1 6-4 win over local Jon Lan Suntar. Kym backed up his singles win by joining forces with compatriot Yarin Aebi to win the boys’ doubles for a second consecutive week, while the girls’ doubles champions were fourth seeded Croatians Lucija Ciric Bagaric & Mirjana Majetic.
14&U CHILDREN’S DAY CUP BY KIRSCHBAUM - Chisinau, Moldova
Russians dominated in the singles categories, with wins going to top seed Konstantin Zhzhenov in the boys’ singles, while sixth seed Arina Babkova was crowned girls’ champion. Zhzhenov then teamed with Ukrainian Viacheslav Bielinskyi, his opponent in the singles final, to win the boys’ doubles. Arina Gamretkaia & Cristina Sosnovschi gave the Moldovan supporters cause for celebration as they won the girls’ doubles event.
14&U V MEMORIJAL JOVANA KUKARASA - Subotica, Serbia
Ukrainian German Samofalov defeated local player Stefan Popovic to claim the boys’ singles title in Subotica, his second tournament win in as many weeks. The two friends had earlier paired up to win the doubles title together. Another local fell at the last hurdle in the girls’ singles, as Andjela Lopicic went down to Rozalia Gruszczynska of Poland in the final. The girls’ doubles event was won by Nina Danisova of Slovakia and her Hungarian partner Reka Kata Matko.
For full results from the above events, Category 3 tournaments as well as 12 and Under tournaments from the past week, please click here.