There were several big tournaments taking place this past week as the Race to Junior Masters approaches its conclusion, with players battling for vital ranking points in their quest to qualify for the end-of-year event.
14 & Under
SANCHEZ CASAL YOUTH CUP – Barcelona, Spain
The seeded players made their presence felt in Barcelona although there were quite a few upsets. Unseeded Swede Isac Stroemberg and Dutch third seed Clarine Lerby were crowned champions in the Catalan capital.
Starting with the boys, Leo Borg as top seed was the clear favourite. Going into the tournament he began with a tough match, overcoming American wildcard recipient Sebastian Gorzny in three tough sets. After that things got easier and he continued to make his way to the final without losing a set. His opponent in the final was his compatriot Isac Stroemberg, an unseeded qualifier, who had come through a couple of hard matches along the way. In his semifinal victory over the number two seeded Russian Mikhail Gorokhov, the Swede emerged from a tough three-set battle 6-7 6-3 6-2. In the final he managed to conquer the sentimental favourite by an even leaner scoreline. Stroemberg stamped his authority on that final with a 6-0 6-1 blitz over Borg.
Looking at the doubles, Italians Antonio Matteo Iaquinto & Gabriele Piraino had made their way to the final with two consecutive walkover wins. However, they were halted by sixth-seeded French boys Leo Raquin & Thibault Verdier 6-3 6-4.
In the girls’ event there was good news for the local qualifier Esther Romero Garcia, making it to the semi-finals where she was defeated by the Swedish 10th seed Louise Wikander. In the top half of the draw the number one seed Amarissa Kiara Toth was upset in the semis by the eventual champion from Holland, third seed Clarine Lerby. The final went the way of the Dutch girl, who waltzed to a 6-1 6-2 victory over her Swedish opponent. However, Toth will be happy to have banked more qualification points for the Masters. She is currently in eighth position, but with only 45 points separating #3 and #10, stands a strong chance of qualifying.
In the doubles, Wikander made up for her singles final defeat by winning the title with her compatriot Klara Milicevic. The top seeds saw off Italian fourth seeds Anastacia Abbagnato & Carlotta Mencaglia 6-4 6-2.
Apart from their trophies, the champions received specially designed paintings by the Japanese artist Miho Sasamori, and posters signed by all the players of the tournament. Gallery.
14 & Under
ETC CUP – Budapest, Hungary
Top seeded Czech Adam Jurajda has helped his chances of qualifying for the Junior Masters, inching up the table with a win in Budapest. He posted a 6-1 6-1 win over Croatian Mili Poljicak and will surely rise when the rankings are updated on Tuesday. Linda Noskova (CZE) defeated Rozalia Gruszczynska (POL) 7-5 5-7 6-2. Czech boys Jurajda & Josef Zapletal lifted the boys’ doubles trophy, while their compatriots Adriana Berankova & Linda Noskova emulated their feat in the girls’ doubles.
16 & Under
OPEN RCT BARCELONA 1899 – Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Many of the top Balkan players took the opportunity to compete in Sarajevo this past week, with the draws crammed with players from neighbouring countries. Boys’ top seed Nikola Jevtic (SRB) will not be rising in the Race, as he was bundled out in the second round by unseeded local Drazen Petrovic. Fellow Bosnian Luka Durdevic was the eventual winner, as he outclassed Hungarian second seed Peter Fajta in the final 6-4 6-0. The girls’ top seed, Maria Bondarenko of Russia, was toppled in the final by second seeded Hungarian Dorka Drahota Szabo 7-5 3-6 6-3. Bondarenko is still riding high however cruising at number two in the 14&U Race, with her spot in the Masters looking reasonably secure.
In the doubles, the spoils went to Bosnians Durdevic and Fedor Popovic in the boys’, while the girls’ champions were Bondarenko and Andjela Lopicic (SRB). Gallery.
39th INTERNATIONAL BMW JUNIOR CUP 2017 - Regensberg, Germany
Top seed Marat Sharipov lost out in the semi-final to Germany’s Benedict Kurz, who in turn then lost a tough fight to his unseeded compatriot Sven Thiergard in the final, going down 2-6 6-2 6-4. Top seeded Russian girl Anastasia Sizova was beaten comfortably in the final, going down to her fifth seeded compatriot Erika Andreeva 6-0 6-2. The singles finalist then teamed up with Czech Nicole Palecek to win the doubles, while Kurz played with fellow German Nicolas Turtl to take home the boys’ doubles title.
For full results in all events and categories here and elsewhere from this past week, please click here, or to view the week's photo galleries, click here.