Two of last week’s four biggest events took place in Italy. The main focus was the 16 & Under Category 1 event in Biella, located between Turin and Milan, which featured some top names and solid results for the top seeds. To the south on the east coast, the city of Pescara hosted a Category 2 event. Elsewhere, there were also Category 2 events held in Estonia and Poland.
16&U - 4° TORNEO INTERNAZIONALE U16 - Biella, Italy
Big names made their mark as Dawid Taczala and Oksana Selekhmeteva solidified their statuses with victories over unseeded Italian opponents. Both players had events to write home about, as they were also through to the finals of the doubles, with Oksana managing one better and claiming victory in both events, while Dawid went home as the singles winner and doubles runner up. In the rankings, Taczala makes a big leap up to 20 in the overall rankings, up from 65. Selekhmeteva, meanwhile, climbs 5 places to 21 overall, and strengthens her grip on the number 1 spot of the 14 & Under rankings.
The boys’ draw was loaded with wildcards, which provided surprises straight off the bat. The number one seeded Pole, Miklaj Lorens, was taken out in the first round in straight sets by a local qualifier, Nicola Cigna. The Italian then continued his fantastic run, overcoming other Italians in consecutive matches in straight sets before taking out the number eighth-seeded Spanish player, Pol Sanchez Vinas, again in two sets in the semi finals.
His opponent in the final, Taczala, also came through in striking fashion, having given away just four games in the semi and quarterfinals. He had stepped up his game after he was made to work hard in the earlier rounds, with three-set victories over a qualifier and an unseeded player.
The final between Cigna and Taczala turned out to be a bit of a tussle, as the qualifier definitely went for the match. He put up a good fight against the favourite, falling in straight sets with only one break of serve in each set separating the players. With his 6-4 6-4 victory, Taczala now adds this title to his win earlier this year in the Category 3 event in Teplice.
In the girls’ singles, the Russian top seed, Oksana Selekhmeteva, is going from strength to strength this year. Apart from a three-set hurdle in the second round against Italy’s Barbara Dessolis, the Russian came through all her other matches up to the final with relative ease, having faced only Italian opponents along the way. She was up against yet another unseeded Italian in the final, Eleonora Alvisi. It was not a straightforward match by any means, with Alvisi giving it her all. It was not to be her day, however, as the Russian top seed came off with a 6-4 7-6(7) victory.
Taking a look at the doubles events, the fourth seeded Italian pairing of Marcello Serafini & Samuel Vincent Ruggeri made their way through to the final against the top seeded Poles Taczala & Lorens. Taczala was the defending champion, having won in 2016 with Lorenzo Rottoli, and did not relinquish his crown easily, but the Italians eventually pulled off an upset to win in two tiebreak sets 7-6(4) 7-6(6). In the girls’ doubles, there was more success for Selekhmeteva and her partner from Slovakia, Klara Ondrejcekova. As the number one seeds, they won the final in a thriller over Carol Plakk & Zeynep Sena Sarioglan, 7-5 6-7(2) 10-8.
16&U - ESTONIAN JUNIOR OPEN - Tallinn, Estonia
After easy runs to the finals, Matas Vasiliauskas and Piotr Pawlak of Lithuania and Poland respectively, faced off in the final. After a tight first set, the second seeded Pole claimed the second and the match for the win, with a final score of 7-5 6-3. Sabine Rutlauka of Latvia upset the top seed, Sofiya Chekhlystova in the quarterfinal and kept up her form all the way to the final. There, she was outdone by her second seeded compatriot Elza Tomase 6-4 6-3.
The boys’ doubles trophy went to Matas Bruzas & Justas Trainauskas of Lithuania, while the Russian pairing of Anastasiia Gureva & Elena Pridankina were the girls’ doubles champions.
16&U - ZABRZE CUP 2017 - Zabrze, Poland
The number one seeded Czech player was upset in the first round by Maciej Ziomber, a Polish wildcard in a draw awash with Polish players. His run would go all the way to the winner's spot, after his 6-2 6-1 defeat of Ukrainian number two seed Svyatoslav Ilnytskyy. The player from the Ukraine then teamed up with Pole Szymon Kielan to be crowned winners of the boys’ doubles.
In the girls’ singles, the top two seeds faced off in the final. In a very close match, the Belarusian top seed Jana Kolodynska defeated Czech Darja Vidmanova 6-3 6-4. More victory for Polish players came as Wiktoria Saska & Aleksandra Wierzbowska won the girls’ doubles final.
14&U - TORNEO UNDER 14 - Pescara, Italy
There were some fantastic results for Dutch players, who triumphed in three of the four events. Both singles champions and top seeds hailed from Holland, as Freek Van Donselaar and Melissa Boyden won the boys’ and girls’ singles. Boyden paired with Bente Spee to win the girls’ doubles while French second seeds Romeo Bastien & Maxime Hillhouse were victorious in the boys’ doubles.
For full results from the above events, plus the Category 3 and 12 & Under tournaments held during the past week, please click here.