Top seed Kimmer Coppejans of Belgium continued his fine recent form to capture the European Junior Championships for the first time. Arguably the most in-form player on the ITF Junior Circuit right now, Coppejans arrived in Klosters having won his maiden Junior Grand Slam title at Roland Garros last month before going on to win in Roehampton on grass and reach the quarter-finals of Wimbledon, securing his highest ranking of junior world #2.
Despite being the favourite for the tournament, he faced some stiff opposition on his way to the final, being extended to a twelve-game final set by Czech Vaclav Safranek in the fourth round and having been just a few points from defeat to Csongor Toth (HUN) in the quarter finals. A 7-6 7-6 semi-final win over Britain’s Jonny O’Mara in the semis set up the final showdown many were hoping for, against second seed Frederico Ferreira Silva of Portugal.
Aged one year younger at 17, Silva has already been ranked as high as sixth in the world, and has spent much of this season honing his clay court game. Only Germany’s Daniel Masur was able to prise a set from Silva, who in 2010 was part of the first ever Portuguese pair to win a European Junior Championships title.
Coppejans and Silva were facing each other for a second tournament in succession. The Belgian ended Silva’s Wimbledon run with a three-set win in the last 16, but Sunday’s final was not as dramatic, with Coppejans always in control and conceding just five games before lifting the trophy, twenty years on from the last Belgian winner Christophe van Garsse in 1992.
The boys’ doubles title went to Slovakian pair Patrik Fabian & Matej Maruscak, who outlasted Italians Frederico Maccari & Christian Perinti 6-4 6-7 10-7, their third match tie break win of the tournament.
There was more success for Slovakia in the girls’ singles, where Petra Uberalova scored a historic win.
Seeded fourth, Uberalova breezed through the early rounds before almost coming unstuck against Aliaksandra Sasnovich (BLR) in the quarterfinals, where she was forced to come back from the loss of a first set tie break to advance 6-7 6-4 7-5 in one of the longest matches of the tournament. Luckily for the world #15, her next opponent, Tereza Smitkova (CZE) was forced to withdraw after losing the first set of their quarterfinal match, giving her some time to rest before scoring an impressive 6-4 6-1 win over top seed Margarita Gasparyan (RUS) in the semifinals.
Meanwhile, unseeded Basak Eraydin of Turkey was tearing through the lower half of the draw, ousting seventh seed Olga Doroshina (RUS), #13 Irina Bara (ROU) and #2 seed Belinda Bencic on route to the final, all without the loss of a set.
The result of the final was exactly the same score as the boys’, a 6-3 6-2 win for the Slovakian being her second European Junior Championships victory (she also won the 14 & Under event in 2008), and moving her into a select group of players to have won the event twice alongside greats of the game such as Martina Hingis, Mats Wilander, Steffi Graf and Stefan Edberg.
Eraydin can also be delighted with her performance though, becoming the first Turkish player ever to reach the singles final at the European Junior Championships (her compatriots Alp Sentay and Ergi Kirkin yesterday became the first Turkish players ever to feature in the doubles final at the 14&U event in Pilzen).
The girls’ doubles also saw a rare feat, as Belarusians Ilona Kremen and Aliaksandra Sasnovich defended their title; the first time that a pair has successfully retained the Championship at 18 & under level. They beat Britain’s Katy Dunne & Liechtenstein’s Kathinka von Deichmann 6-2 6-1 in the final.
Draws and Results
Boys Singles | Boys Doubles | Girls Singles | Girls Doubles | Photos