All eyes were on Spain last week as the nation played host to two Category One events. In the cool and temperate Galicia region, a field packed with familiar names played the 16 & Under tournament in the seaside haven of Sanxenxo, near Pontevedra. Over 2000 km south in the Canary Islands, the landscape could not be more different. The 14 & Under players were battling it out in the semi-tropical heat of Telde, on the island of Gran Canaria in the Yellow Bowl tournament.
16 & Under - Torneo Internacional Cadete - Sanxenxo, Spain
Serbia's Fatma Idrizovic has stamped her authority on the second half of 2018. Fresh from her 14 & Under Tennis Europe Junior Masters victory in Italy earlier this month, and as the top seed, she adds another trophy to the vast collection she has amassed this year. This is her seventh final of 2018, and her third in this age group - she claimed the champion’s trophy in Sarajevo as well as a runner-up berth at the Bavarian Junior Open in Germany. In addition, she has claimed four 14 & Under titles, including the aforementioned Junior Masters.
Her defeated opponent in the final was the second seeded Macedonian Aleksandra Simeva, another player to feature at the recent Masters. Having kicked off the year with a bang claiming both Development Championships titles, she has since been a perennial runner-up, finishing second on five previous occasions. Idrizovic saw off a scare in the semifinals, taking a three-set win over unseeded local player Carolina Gomez, before regrouping for a 6-1 6-4 win in the final. Simeva had progressed to the final with straight sets wins in all matches, although she was tested in the first set in her semi against fourth seeded Kira Pavlova of Russia.
Czech top seed Matias Musil’s withdrawal placed Lucky Loser Sergio Tintore (ESP) in the top slot in the draw. His first-round loss, however, opened up the draw nicely for unseeded Spaniard Daniel Matheu. He was eventually taken out in the semi-finals by his compatriot David Cao Pardal, the conqueror of in-form fourth seed Kalin Ivanovski (MKD). Second seeded Marcel Kamrowski (POL) progressed to the semi-finals without the loss of a set before being forced to come from one set down to outdo third seed Milo Gazivoda of Montenegro in his toughest test of the tournament. The final, albeit tight, went the way of the number two seed, as Kamrowski secured the vital break in each set for a 7-5 7-5 win. The win earns the Pole his third title of the year on the Tennis Europe Junior Tour, after posting wins in Cyprus (Hellenic Bank Masters) and Belarus (Pinsk Open).
There was some consolation in the doubles for Ivanovski, as he teamed with Croatian Luka Mikrut to defeat Matheu & Carlos Joaquin Ramos Membrives (ESP) 6-3 7-5. Meanwhile in the girls’ event, the Portuguese duo of Mafalda Guedes & Matilde Jorge defeated Kateryna Lazarenko (UKR) & Kira Pavlova (RUS) 6-4 6-2.
14 & Under - Gran Canaria Yellow Bowl - Telde, Spain
Bor Atnak’s great form in Spain continued as he racked up a second top-flight win on the Iberian Peninsular in as many months, having recently won another Category 1 tournament at the Sanchez Casal Youth Cup in Barcelona. He also won the same tournament two years ago in the 12 & Under category. Playing in his fifth final of 2018, the Slovenian lifted his fourth trophy with a resounding victory over local hope Markus Giersiepen. Atnak had a topsy-turvy run to the final, punctuated by a tough three-set first round win and a 7-6 5-7 6-1 quarterfinal victory, both over unseeded Spaniards. Atnak cast aside any nerves or doubts, making light work of third seeded Italian Peter Buldorini 6-1 6-3 in the semi-finals before refusing to allow his opponent a game in the final. Nevertheless, it was an amazing run for Giersiepen who, as the sixteenth seed, had a roller-coaster ride of his own en route to the final, taking out three seeded players in the three matches prior to the final, highlighted by a come-from-behind 6-7 7-5 6-2 upset of second seed Mariano Tammaro (ITA) in the semis. The Italians fared better in the doubles, with Enrico Baldisserri & Tammaro keeping Buldorini & Filippo Mazzola at bay with a 6-0 6-1 win in the final.
Celine Naef, winner of the girls’ singles and runner-up in the doubles, adds another two trophies to her impressive haul in 2018. For the Swiss player, who qualified for the Junior Masters, it was a seventh singles final and fifth title of the year. She also collects her second doubles runner-up trophy of the year. As the second seed, Naef made it to the singles final without dropping a set, and although she had some tight opening sets in her early matches, she ended up scoring decisive wins. In the quarterfinals, she took out tenth seed Lola Radivojevic (SRB) 6-2 6-2 before seeing off fourth seed Hanna Tsitavets (BLR) 6-4 6-3 in the semis. On paper there was very little between the two finalists, but Naef was able to hold off top seed Victoria Jimenez Kasintseva and keep the Andorran from winning her fourth tour title with a 6-2 6-4 victory. Naef played with her compatriot Karolina Kozakova as top seeds in the doubles. The Swiss girls were not able to fend off Lucie Havlickova & Amelie Smejkalova in the decider, going down 7-6(4) 6-4 to the Czech pair in the final.
A 12 & Under tournament was held alongside the 14 & Under event at the same venue in the Canary Islands. For full results from both events, as well as other results in all events and categories elsewhere from this past week, please click here, or to view the latest photo galleries, click here.