Worthy winners and an unworthy epilogue
Stefanos Tstitsipas and Amina Anshba have claimed the singles titles at the European 18 & Under Championships, which was celebratd for a 20th time in Klosters, Switzerland. In the boys final, there was an unfortunate ending.
Stefanos Tsitsipas was well on his way to earning the title in a high-level match when at 7-6, 5-3, 30-0 he was two points away from glory. A well-deserved glory, as the tall Greek proved worthy of his number one seeding and ITF ranking at all times, he was clearly the best player in the draw. At this score, his opponent Corentin Moutet was unhappy with the chair umpire’s decision not to check a mark and decided to shake his hand before completion of the match. The Frenchman had had his chances earlier in the match when the highly gifted lefthander was unable to convert two set points in the tiebreak. Later, he received two warnings.
As unfortunate as this ending was, the spectators had been treated to one of the best finals in tournament’s history. And the winner was delighted to be able to lift the heavy trophy after last year’s close semifinal loss, saying, “I am simply happy.”
The love for Klosters
The winner was also the crowd’s favourite. In every free minute he had played either tennis on a mini court or football, including with the locals and kids. Moreover, on the social media, he delivered one PR post for Klosters after the other during the week. And he confirmed how much he likes the resort: “It’s fantastic here,” he said. “I can’t think of a more beautiful spot to play tennis. I am speechless.”
Plenty of other winners of this event went on to leave their mark on the ATP tour. This isn’t likely to be different in his case: Tsitsipas has already climbed to number 359 in the ATP ranking and plays in the coming week at a challenger event in Scheveningen in the Netherlands thanks to a Wild Card. “I’d love to be soon in the Top 200 and to be able to play the qualifying event at the Australian Open,” he said, when asked about his upcoming goals.
Moutet’s undignified exit from the tournament denies him the chance to join Mats Wilander as the only player to win European Junior Championship titles in all three age categories – 14, 16 and 18 & Under – but he will no doubt be back stronger as he continues to progress into the professional game.
21 years after Kournikova
Amina Anshba continued her winning streak after having beaten Swiss favourite Rebeka Masarova in the semis. She prevailed in the first all-Russian final in Klosters by upsetting top-seed Olesya Pervushina 6-4 2-6 6-2 and became the first Russian winner of the title since Anna Kournikova 21 years ago.
Anshba proved to be a true ‘marathon woman’, coming through from the quarter finals onwards in three sets every time. And she is earning a reputation as a tough competitor, having now won her last ten three-set matches in a row. “I have no secret, I just fight for every point”, she said. She also has a clear next goal, stating that she would like to become #1 in the ITF ranking. The goal will not be too far away, once her points from Klosters are added to the rankings next week.
Draws and Results
Boys Singles | Boys Doubles | Girls Singles | Girls Doubles | Facebook | Photos