There was a wide variety of events on the Tennis Europe Junior Tour last week, with a total of 15 tournaments staged from Portugal in the west to Georgia in the east. Many eyes were on the week's biggest event, in terms of ranking points offered - the legendary Category 1 Avvenire tournament in Milan...
16 & Under 53º TORNEO AVVENIRE - Milan, Italy
Steeped in history, the illustrious names on the honour roll of this distinguished tournament is a virtual who’s who of tennis - former winners include Gael Monfils, Bjorn Borg, Martina Hingis and current French Open surprise package Jelena Ostapenko. Maria Sharapova, Robin Soderling and Borna Coric are some former runners up who have gone on to forge a name for themselves on the pro tour.
Unseeded Argentine, Alejo Lorenzo Lingua Lavallen, part of the travelling COSAT squad, came through to the final without the loss of a set, defeating last week’s Lillo Pucci winner, Pedro Vives Marcos of Spain, along the way. Hungarian top seed Peter Makk was taken out in the first round, thus opening up the draw for Jaime Caldes to reach his second category 1 final in as many weeks. Caldes was once again defied at the last hurdle, as the final went the way of the Argentine, who again did not relinquish a set, as he took home the famed title with a 6-2 6-4 win. He now adds his name to the list of Argentinian winners, which also includes the 2002 champion Juan Martin Del Potro.
In the girls’ singles, the top seeded Hungarian Reka Zadori was also coincidentally taken out in the first round, paving the way for the seventh-seeded Czech player Darja Vidmanova to make her third Category 1 final this season. In the final, she faced a tough challenge from French #2 seed Carole Monnet but passed with flying colours to earn herself a first title of 2017 with a 6-4 6-1 victory.
Lingua Lavallen completed the double as he teamed up with his compatriot Luciano Tacchi to overcome the Swiss pair of Jerome Kym & Leandro Reidi 6-2 3-6 10-8 in a hotly contested final. In the girls’ doubles, Italy’s Matilde Mariani won her second category 1 doubles in as many weeks. This time, she partnered with Federica Sacco to defeat Spain’s Gabriela Martinez Asensi & Leyre Romero Gormaz 6-2 6-4.
With the champions crowned for yet another year, and some huge international press attention including televised matches in Italy, Avvenire once again underlined its status as one of the oldest and most important stops on the Tennis Europe Junior Tour.
14 & Under ATA JUNIOR TROPHY KLOSTERS - Klosters, Switzerland
This relatively new event in Klosters has proven to be a popular event with international players, and is held at the same spectacular mountain resort which has hosted the European 18 & Under Championships for many years. It turned out to be a good tournament for the top seeds as well as for local players.
In the boys’ singles, the top seed from Switzerland Yarin Aebi defeated the second seeded Pole Piotr Kusiewicz 6-2 6-2 for his second singles tournament win of the year. The girls’ singles crown also went to the number one seed, Russian Tatiana Muzykantskaya, who got the better of Swiss #2 Julie Schalch 6-4 6-1. After finishing as the runner up in Pavia and the Smena Cup, Muzykantskaya claims her maiden title of the year.
In the doubles, the number three seeded boys Mika Lipp & Kim Johannes Niethammer of Germany upset the top seeded Polish-Latvian combination of Kusiewicz & Niki Stoiber 7-6 6-3. There was also to be more joy for Switzerland with both teams in the girls’ doubles finals consisting of home players. In the end, it was the second seeded pairing of Maria Michaela Fiacan & Jade Haller who were also able to upset the top seeds Alina Granwehr & Julie Schalch 6-4 1-6 10-2.
16/14/12 & Under RIGA OPEN (Celebrating 20th Anniversary)
Latvia’s premier junior tennis event, the Riga Open, was celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. The tournament is unique in that it is the only Tennis Europe Junior Tour event to host all three age categories in the same week, making it one of the continent’s biggest junior tournaments with hundreds of players in action.
In the 16 & Under category there were four different countries represented in the finals. There was great news for the top seeds as Matas Vasiliauskas (LTU) and local Elza Tomase stamped their authority and clinched the singles titles. Vasiliauskas downed Belarusian third seed Aliaksandr Sasnouki 7-5 6-3, for his third win of the season. Tomase for her part defeated Estonian qualifier Saara Orav 3-6 6-2 6-2 and picked up her maiden tournament win in the process. The Latvian pair of Rudolfs Aksenoks & Valerijs Vorobjovs defeated Russians Anton Arzhankin & Robert Korelov in a tight 4-6 6-2 10-7 win. Tomase backed up her win in the singles and played with fellow Latvian Anna Jakovleva to claim her second doubles title this year, this time over their compatriots Klaudija Lisovska & Laura Slisane 6-3 6-3.
Playing in the boys’ 14 & Under singles as the number 2 seed, Korelov beat his compatriot and top seed Konstantin Zhzhenov. He took the trophy with a 6-7(1) 6-3 6-1 win and improved his head-to-head record to 3/0 against his fellow Russian. There was another all-Russian final in the girls’ singles. Diana Shnaider defeated Arina Babkova 6-3 6-4 in her second final and first win of the season. The boys’ doubles title went to Hugo Kristianson & Martin Murrand of Estonia, while in the girls’ doubles Shnaider took the title with her compatriot Elizaveta Krokhina.
The winners of the singles in the 12 & Under categories were Goran Zgola of Poland and Latvian Valerija Maija Kargina.
For full results from all other 12 & Under and Category 3 events here and elsewhere, please click here, or to view the week's photo galleries, click here.