Bolton, United Kingdom
With a new crop of players sliding into this age category this year, the draw in Bolton was further boosted by a strong squad of overseas players visiting Europe for back-to-back Category 1 tournaments. The singles finals were all-American affairs for the first time in the history of the tournament, as Victor Lilov imposed himself and made his intentions for 2018 clear by claiming the title in the boys’ singles, while the girls’ trophy went to fifth seed Katja Wiersholm.
Coming off the back of double tournament victories at the end of 2017, Mili Poljicak, the number one seed from Croatia, was in fine form heading into the quarterfinals not dropping set. There, however, he ran into an inspired unseeded local in the form of Samuel Reeve who was able to take him out in three sets. Reeve then made his way to the next round where he was taken out by the eventual finalist Evan Wen of the United States. In the final, the Bulgarian-born American was able to stamp his authority in the deciding set. After a second set lull, lost to love, he dug in and pulled himself together to emerge with a 6-3 0-6 6-3 victory. His route to the final was by no means an easy one. He had survived two tough three-set matches in the semi and quarter finals, over Cesar Bouchelaghem (FRA) and Alexander Blockx (BEL), the third and second seeds respectively, thus making his victory even more impressive.
There was a similar story in the Girls’ draw for the number one seeded British player Matilda Mutavdzic. After a strong finish to the 2017 season with two victories at the end of the year, she battled her way to the semifinals with multiple three set victories, only to be upset in the semi finals by the eventual champion in straight sets. Wiersholm, for her part, had outdone the in-form and promising Oceane Babel of France to make it to that semi. The final was an all-American affair with fifth seed Wiersholm facing Katrina Scott. The number two seed seemed to be the slight favorite going into the deciding match, having come through her two previous matches in straight sets. However, for the loss of just one service game in each set, the trophy went to Wiersholm with a 6-4 6-4 victory. The American thus went one step further than brother Patrick, a runner-up at this event in 2011.
There was some consolation for the Poljicak in the finals as he teamed up with his compatriot Dino Prizmic to win the doubles in a championship tie break 3-6 6-4 10-5. This win thus denied the Bulgarian singles champion a double win, as he and his and partner Wen had to settle for the Runners-Up trophy. Over in the girls’ doubles, there was again heartache for British number one seed who fell in the quarterfinals. It proved to be a fantastic outing to Bolton for Wiersholm, as she held aloft her second trophy, teaming up with compatriot Robin Montgomery for a 6-4 6-2 win over French pair Babel & Laia Petretic.
CATEGORY 2 - 16 & Under
With a field dominated by local players, almost all top four positions in all categories were taken by Russians. In the boys’ doubles, the top seeds were the only non-Russians able to make inroads into the final four spots, and not only that, they went on to claim the title. Spoils in the boys’ singles went to the unseeded Aleksandr Myahkov who defeated sixth seed Evgenii Derevenskov. The girls’ finalists were both unseeded, with Marta Belokrylova overcoming Sofya Ostrovskaya. The boys’ doubles champs were Marc Lajal (EST) & Artur Soghoyan (ARM) while Ostrovskaya won the girls’ doubles alongside Elizaveta Shebekina.
CATEGORY 2 - 14 & Under
In one of the few tournaments that went according to script this week, the top seeds swept the field in all categories except for the boys’ doubles, where unseeded local players were surprise, but welcome victors. Maxim Zhukov (RUS) was the only non-Belorussian winner, defeating Ukrainian Ivan Kremenhutsckyi in the boys’ decider. Evialina Laskevic saw off Patricija Paukstyte (LTU) in the girls’ final, and backed that up with a win in the doubles with Hanna Tsitavets. In the boys’ doubles, Erik Arutiunian & Anton Kastsenich round off the list of winners in Minsk.
17th REALSPORT OPEN
Milovice, Czech Republic
More of the same in the Czech Republic, as local players clearly dominate the draw as well as the podium. Jakub Nikod did the double, winning the singles trophy over Filip Apltauer and the doubles with Olaf Pieczkowski (POL). Patricie Kubikova defeated Aglaya Fedorova (RUS) in the girls’ final, after having earlier gone down in the doubles final to Linda Klimovicova & Tereza Krenkova.
Players from five different nations lifted winners trophies at the Narva Cup. Poland’s Filip Pieczonka began the year in style, beating second seed Vilius Gaubas 6-0 6-4 to claim the singles title and also adding the doubles. There was an all-Russian girls’ singles final, as Iaroslava Sviatetckaia beat unseeded Sofiia Suslova 6-4 7-6(0). Home players starred in the doubles, where Elisabeth Iila & Liisa Varul won the girls’ title, beating Russian pairing Adel Pilosyan & Sofiya Zueva. Andreas Sillaste added a runner-up trophy in the boys’ doubles, where he teamed with Juho Eric Biggs of Finland but fell at the final hurdle to Edas Butvilas (LTU) & singles champion Pieczonka.
LES PETITS AS MONDIAL LACOSTE
Qualifying is already under way in this year’s event. Player profiles, tournament information and live scores can be found on the tournament’s website at http://www.lespetitsas.com. Next week we’ll provide yet another round-up of the tournament from Tarbes.
For full results in all events and categories from this past week, please click here.