Belarus has claimed the nation’s first ever European Summer Cups title, with the girls’ 18 & Under team defeating Russia 2-1 in the final. The Russian 16 & Under girls’ team, however, made up for this, repeating as champions thanks to a 2-1 win over Ukraine. There is little doubt that France’s boys have a bright future ahead of them, having swept both the 16 and 18 & Under boys’ titles to add to the 14 & Under won last month.
COPA LA REINA – 18 & Under Girls - Valldolid, Spain
It was a momentous day for Belarusian tennis as the 18 & Under girls’ team survived a nailbiting final set doubles match to win the nation’s first ever European Summer Cups title, breaking a three-year stranglehold of the defending champions, Russia, who had ended in Belarus’ run in their only previous final appearance, in 2015.
Vlada Koval got the Russians off to a 1-0 lead, defeating Shalimar Talbi 6-3 6-4 in a straightforward opening rubber. Yulia Hatouka got things back on track for Belarus, fending off Kamilla Rakhimova 7-6(4) 6-4. Varvara Gracheva replaced Rakhimova as the other three players returned to court for the deciding doubles match, which after a nervy second set eventually went the way of the Belarusians 6-2 7-6(6). It was a great tournament for green and red, as they had come through the semi-finals undefeated against Slovakia, having chosen not to contest the dead doubles rubber - one which they lost against Spain on Day 1. It was poetic then that a win in the doubles on finals day would earn them the trophy.
In the bronze medal match, Slovakia overcame Italy thanks to a decisive doubles win. | Photo Gallery
VALERIO / GALEA CUP - 18 & Under Boys - Todi, Italy
The French boys faced their first test and first real moment of uncertainty and tension in the final against long-time rivals Spain. Having beaten Portugal 2-0 on the first day, and then unceremoniously ending the hopes of hosts Italy 3-0 in the semi-finals, the championship decider was the first time they found themselves level at 1-1 after the singles matches.
Clement Tabur set the French boys up with a 6-4 7-6(2) win over Nicolas Alvarez, but this advantage was lost as Carlos Lopez pegged the tie back to 1-1 after stunning Hugo Gaston 7-6(0) 3-6 6-3. Coming in as the top seeds, the favourites put all doubts to rest in the doubles. The four players stepped back on to court, but it was France who eased to a 6-4 6-3 win, and in doing so took home their third consecutive title. France extends its record as the nation with most titles in this age category to 14. Spain remains second with 11.
Russia later beat Italy 2-0 to secure the bronze medals. | Photo Gallery
5= Great Britain, Hungary
7= Portugal, Ukraine
EUROPEAN SUMMER CUPS – 16 & Under Girls - Budapest, Hungary
Russia has completed its third straight 2-1 victory in three days to claim a third consecutive Summer Cups title in the 16 & Under girls’ category. Having defeated Latvia on day 1, then Spain in the semi-finals, the Russians secured the title in yet another live doubles rubber.
11th-ranked Oksana Selekhmeteva waltzed through her match against Lyubov Kostenko, dropping just two games in the first set and racing through the second without conceding a game. Last year’s European 14 & Under Champion Dasha Lopatetskyaya evened things up for Ukraine with a 7-6(0) 6-2 win over Elina Avanesyan. On the doubles court, however, the Russians had the edge, taking the match, the tie and the title 7-5 6-3. This is the Russians’ third victory in three years, eighth overall and eleventh if including wins as part of the USSR.
Spain beat Slovakia in a walkover to claim the bronze medals. | Photo Gallery
The top 5 nations, plus hosts Hungary, qualify for the Junior Fed Cup finals in Budapest from September 25th-30th, against finalists from Africa, Asia/Oceania and the Americas.
BOROTRA CUP – 16 & Under Boys - Le Touquet, France
France has put on a display of complete dominance on home soil to lift an eleventh Summer Cups title in this age category. The boys were simply awesome, overpowering Italy 3-0 in the final, after having defeated Latvia on day 1 and Hungary in the semi-finals by the same unrelenting score line. 21-ranked Lilian Marmousez trounced Flavio Cobolli 6-3 6-2, getting the home team off to a great start. Later, #2 and 2016 European Junior Championships doubles champion Arthur Cazaux had to fight harder to subdue Luciano Darderi 6-2 7-6(2).
All players returned to court, with the exception of Cobolli who was replaced by the reigning Tennis Europe Junior Masters 14 & Under champion Luca Nardi. The Italians were to be disappointed however, as their hosts shut them out with a straightforward 6-3 6-3 win to claim France’s first title at the final rounds in Le Touquet since 2014.
Spain later beat Hungary in a champion’s tie break in the deciding doubles match to secure the bronze medals. | Photo Gallery
5. Great Britain
The top 6 nations qualify to compete at the Junior Davis Cup finals in Budapest from September 25th-30th.