Italy & Great Britain win 16&U Winter Cups by HEAD titles

Tennis Europe Junior Tour

Italy & Great Britain win 16&U Winter Cups by HEAD titles

The 16 & Under Tennis Europe Winter Cups by HEAD has new champions in 2017, with Great Britain and Italy taking home the boys’ and girls’ trophies respectively. With France playing host to both events, the boys won their cup with a 3-0 win over Belgium in Ronchin, while the Italian girls defeated the Czech Republic 2-1 in Brest. Adding to wins in 1993 and 2011, it is the third title for Great Britain. They beat an inspired Belgian team who had made it through to the final unbeaten in all qualifying and main draw matches. The Italian girls have won their first trophy since 1998, their third in six finals appearances. Their win relegated the Czech girls to the runners-up podium for a second consecutive year.

 

En route to the final Great Britain were convincing 3-0 winners over last year’s winner Russia in the quarterfinals. They then had a 2-1 victory over France in the semi-finals. On the other half of the final rounds draw, Belgium scored 2-1 victories in both confrontations on their way to the final, first over the Czech team and then over last year’s finalists the Netherlands in the semi-finals.

 

Having faced each other in qualifying group D, and with Belgium coming out on top 2-1, both boys’ teams were eager to prove a point in the final. Team GB wanted to make amends for their narrow loss, while the Belgians were keen to consolidate their undefeated status through all qualifying and main draw matches.

 

The script was not to be as poetic as the Belgians would have liked. Britain took the singles rubbers by the slimmest of margins with Jacob Fearnley beating Louis Herman 6-1 5-7 7-6(8) in just under two hours. Harry Wendelken defeated Gauthier Onclin 6-3 2-6 6-4 and sealed the deal for Great Britain. With their hopes dashed, the Belgians also capitulated in the doubles in a match that lasted a mere fifty minutes, with Herman and Raphael Collignon going down to Fernley and James Storey 6-3 6-4.

 

The Czech girls beat Hungary and Russia on their way to the final, while the Italians beat Turkey and France in the quarters and semis respectively. Coincidentally, the two teams in the girls’ finals also emerged from the same qualifying group. Just as the Belgian boys had done, the Italians were able to reverse their fortunes and avenge their loss to the Czechs in the group stage.

 

In the first rubber, Federica Sacco outplayed Anna Siskova and waltzed to a 6-2 6-0 victory. Denisa Hindova, part of the Czech runners up team in last year’s 14&U Summer Cups, put up a tough fight against Federica Rossi. Losing the first set in a tiebreak, Hindova won the second but Rossi was too strong in the third, taking the match 7-6(2) 4-6 6-1 to secure victory for the Italians.

 

Playing for pride, the Czech team definitely did not let Italy run away with the title. Siskova, paired with Vanesa Nikolovova in the doubles, exacted revenge on her conqueror in the singles by winning the doubles 7-5 6-0 over Sacco and Martina Biagianti.

 

The Russian teams might be leaving the event slightly disappointed this year. After taking out both boys’ and girls’ titles last year, the Russian boys failed to make it past the quarterfinals this year, bowing out to eventual champions Great Britain 3-0, whereas the girls did one better, making it to the semis where they lost 2-1 to the Czech team. There was some slight consolation for the Russians, however, as the girls finished third in the consolation playoff after defeating France, who themselves took the bronze over The Netherlands in the boys’ consolation playoff.


Held since 1977, the Tennis Europe Winter Cups by HEAD is the world’s biggest indoor team competition, and saw participation from almost 170 national teams across its three age categories in this edition. For full results, please click here.

Draws and Results

Boys Finals: Ronchin (FRA) - Nominations | Draw | Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Photos

Girls Finals: Brest (FRA) - Nominations | Draw | Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Photos

Final standings

  16 & Under Boys 16 & Under Girls
     
1 Great Britain Italy
2 Belgium Czech Republic
3 France Russia
4 Netherlands France
5 Russia Great Britain
6 Czech Republic Belarus
7 Croatia Hungary
8 Spain Turkey

 

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