The Tennis Europe Junior Tour is increasingly active as we approach the summer, and last week’s tally of 16 tournaments made it one of the busiest ever weeks for the Tour, with almost 1,500 players in action across the continent.
The week’s main event in terms of ranking points was the Category 1 16 & Under Montecatini International. The prestigious event boasted a high quality field of players from around the world, thanks to the presence of several ITF Touring Teams. International players made a big impact on the boys’ draw, where Henrik Wiersholm of the United States emerged to face Argentina’s Manuel Pena Lopez in the final. The in-form Pena Lopez was hoping to seal back-to-back Category 1 titles after triumphing in Foligno the previous week and started well against the former Les Petits As champion. The American fought back well after losing the first set and eventually claimed his first Tennis Europe Junior Tour title since Tarbes in 2011.
Two home players came through to contest the girls’ final, with wild card Bianca Turati recovering from the loss of a first set tie-break to surprise top seed Verena Hofer for the title. Turati upset three of the top four seeds on her way to her first Tennis Europe Junior Tour win. The doubles events went to teams from Argentina and Russia, with unseeded Franco Capalbo & Agustin Torreano winning the boys’ title and fourth seeds Polina Golubovskaya & Valeriya Yushchenko taking the girls’.
14 & Under
The Category 2 Memorial Goran Tanovic in Tuzla (BIH) was a happy hunting ground for Croatian players, who walked away with all available titles. Top seed Karlo Divkovic claimed his first title by coming from behind to beat Andrey Jokic 2-6 7-5 6-2 and also teamed up with Roko Savin to win the doubles. In the girls’ events, Ana Biskic and Anda Karanusic won the doubles together before facing each other in the singles final, where the higher-ranked Biskic won 6-0 6-4.
The Category 2 international 14 & Under Pescara was completely dominated by Italian players, who accounted for all semi-final spots in each event. The boys’ final saw Andrea Trapani lose just three games to Paolo Scrimieri. Trapani also won the doubles, teaming up with Alessio de Barnardis to win in a match tie-break. For a second time in three weeks, Ingrid di Carlo lost the girls’ singles final. As in Brindisi, she was edged to the title by the top seed, on this occasion Federica Bilardo, who closes in on the Top 20 with her first singles title. The girls’ doubles went to Monica Cappelletti & Elisa Visentin.
Czech players won three of the four titles at the Category 3 Szczecin Cup in Poland. Top seed Anna Kynclova teamed up with Russia’s Daria Solovyeva to win the doubles and then beat her partner in the girls’ singles final. Meanwhile Daniel Velek upset compatriot Tomas Jirousek for the boys’ singles title. The pair also reached the doubles final together, but were beaten by Poland’s Konrad Fryze & Marcin Skowronski.
The JUG Open in Skopje saw one of last season’s outstanding 12 & under players claim a first 14 & Under title. Leonid Sheyngezikht of Russia breezed through the singles event, beating Switzerland’s Jakub Paul 6-4 6-4 in the final, and teamed up with Ilgiz Valiev to take the doubles for good measure. The girl’s events saw some success for the host nation. Katarina Marinkovikj reached the singles final before losing to Gergana Topalova of Bulgaria, while Biska Petreska teamed up with Serbia’s Nevena Sokovic to take the doubles crown.
Home players dominated a cosmopolitan field at the Category 3 Abris Cup in Budapest, Hungary, taking all four available titles. Zsombor Piros claimed his first singles and doubles titles, beating Australia’s Kody Pearson in the singles final and teaming up with Lenard Soha for the doubles. Csenge Furak also managed a double win, teaming up with Anasztazia Fouraev for the doubles and beating top-seeded Romanian Mihaela Marculescu in the singles final.
Igor Karpovets of Ukraine was the star of the Category 3 Vilnius Mayor’s Cup in Lithuania, blasting past final opponent Simonas Zukauskas (LTU) 6-0 6-0 to lift the singles crown, and teaming with Aliaksandr Lianonenka of Belarus to win the doubles title. There was more success for Belarus in the girls’ event, with Katsiaryna Yemelyanenka beating compatriot Yana Prysmakova 6-2 6-0 to claim her second title of the season.
16 & Under
Home players swept the board at the Category 2 Mamaia IDU Championships in Romania. The boys’ final saw third seed Alexandru Manole pip #2 Valentin Vanta 7-5 6-4 while Ioana Minca earned a straightforward 6-2 6-2 win over Cristiana Tudor in the girls’ final. Tudor earlier teamed up with Ioana Guna to take the doubles, while Sorin Iordache & Calin Manda won the boys’ event.
Germany’s Jan Kirchhoff worked hard to earn the singles trophy at the 64-draw 8th Euroregion Nisa Cup in Hradek nad Nisou (CZE), beating home player Antonin Bolardt 57 76(6) 75 in the longest final of the weekend to claim his first Tour title. The girls’ final saw the top two seeds face off, with #2 Martina Kudelova (CZE) beating Adel-Byanu Abdullina (RUS) in straight sets. The Russian had earlier teamed up with compatriot Ekaterina Trashchenko to win the doubles. There was more silverware for home players in the boys doubles, which was won by Filip Duda & Ondrey Vicenda.
At the Baltic Wind Category 3 event in Vsevolozhsk (RUS), Alexander Ovcharov won his first Tennis Europe Junior Tour title since claiming the 14 & Under in Kharkiv this time last year. The Russian beat top seed Philipp Klimov in the semifinals before conceding just four games to Nikita Mishin in the championship match.
Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus took the girls’ crown – her second of the year – outlasting Natalia Belova (RUS) 63 76(7). Belova had earlier teamed up with compatriot Polina Bakhmutina to win the doubles. Dmitriy Dosuzhev & Dmitrii Morozov won the boys’ doubles for a second successive year, earning the rare distinction of having defended a 16 & Under title.
There were double winners in boys the boys’ and girls’ events at the Reykjavik Open in Iceland. Top seeded Russian Mikhail Sokolvskiy won his fourth singles title of the season – and first at 16 & under level – by outlasting Germany’s Jesper Freimuth 6-2 4-6 6-2. Sokolovskiy also teamed up with compatriot Andrey Landgraf to claim the doubles. Britain’s Emily Appleton matched his feat; seeded fourth, she won the girls’ singles dropping just 11 games en route to the title including a 6-2 6-0 win over Georgie Walker in the championship match. Appleton head earlier won the doubles final with Alexandra Hunter without taking to the court due to an injury to their scheduled opponents.
The II SEB Tallinn Cup was held in Estonia, a joint 12 and 16 & Under tournament that saw players from four different countries scoop the singles crowns. Jack Draper of Great Britain took the 12 & Under boys’ title, beating Finland’s Otto Virtanen in the final. Virtanen had earlier won the doubles alongside Aleksei Lofman. More Finns were on the podium in the girls singles, where Oona Orpana beat Paula Joukanen to take the title, while Georgian/Belarusian combo Mariam Dalakishvili & Aleksandra Efremova took the doubles.
Lithuania’s Tadas Babelis survived the qualifying competition and a three-set battle with top seed Mattias Siimar (EST) in the final to win his first Tour title in the 16 & Under event. Siimar earlier claimed the doubles crown with his brother Kristofer, who he also had to beat in the singles semi-final. Birgit Burk managed to claim a singles trophy for the host nation, upsetting seventh seed Deniza Marcinkevica (LAT) 6-1 7-5 in the final. Meanwhile, the girls’ doubles went to Julia Izotova (BLR) & Anna Kholodnaya (RUS).
Oslo’s Holmenkollen Tennisklubb played host to a combined 14 and 16 & Under tournament, where Scandinavian players dominated the younger age category. The girls’ event saw an all-Norwegian final, with Astrid Brune Olsen coming from behind to reverse a loss in the Falköping final last week against Malene Helgo. The pair also teamed up to win the doubles. The boys’ event also saw a double winner as Gustaf Eklow paired with fellow Swede Hjalmar Conde to take the doubles before beating wild card Zacharias Rankloo Rasmussen in the singles final.
The 16 & Under event had a similar story as Dorthea Faa Hviding recovered from the loss of the opening set to beat Norwegian compatriot Alexandra Borg in the final, a day after winning the doubles title together. Portugal’s Tiago Cacao ended hopes of a Norwegian double, beating last year’s 14 & Under European Junior Championships runner-up Casper Ruud in the final and also teaming up with Martim Vilela (POR) to win the doubles.
12 & Under
Two other 12 & Under events were held, in addition to the joint event in Tallinn. In Barcelona, Ekaterina Makarova of Russia continued her outstanding season so far by winning the Sánchez-Casal Kids Cup for a second successive year. She blasted past Sabina Dadaciu for the loss of just one game in the final to win her sixth title of 2013, and teamed up with Alessia Truden (ITA) to claim the doubles crown. Home player Nicolas Alvarez was a popular winner of the boys’ title, outlasting Sebastian Grundtvig (DEN) in a marathon final match to win his first Tennis Europe Junior Tour title. Gruntvig had earlier teamed up with Filippo Moroni of Italy to win the doubles.
Several players claimed their first titles at the Bellevue Cup in Ulcinj, Montenegro. Russia’s Alibek Kachmazov took the boys’ crown over Luka Puljic (BIH). Darija Krzovska of FYR Macedonia reached both girls finals, taking the doubles title with Anna Molchanova (UKR). The result of the girls’ singles is still pending. Italian pair Marco Franzini & Manuel Massimino claimed the boys’ doubles.
The Tennis Europe Junior Tour marches on this week, with another 9 events on offer, including the Category 1 16 & under tournament in Milan. Full results from all Tennis Europe Junior Tour tournaments can be found on the calendar, with photo galleries here. You can also keep in touch with the latest news and results on the move, thanks to our mobile app.