France and Belarus have successfully defended the 18&U European Summer Cups titles after a week of competition which saw 40 national teams in action across seven qualifying venues. The top eight qualifiers battled for the prestigious team titles at two venues in France over the last three days.
Boys’ Finals - La Rochelle (FRA)
France were three-time defending champions and strong pre-tournament favourites as the top seeds and playing with a home advantage. Since 1991, they have made a whopping fifteen finals appearances, including a total of eight wins and seven runner-up finishes. Italy has won just one title, back in 2013, when they beat - who else? - France.
With wins over Germany and the Czech Republic, France made it through to a fourth straight final. They would meet Italy, who had seen off Great Britain and Slovakia to set up a final between the competition’s top two seeds.
France 2 - Italy 1
The home team got off to a one rubber to nil lead in the final, although it was hotly disputed. Kyrian Jacquet defeated Francesco Passaro 7-5 3-6 6-4. Harold Mayot had an easier win over Matteo Arnaldi 6-0 7-5. With the result beyond doubt, Passaro and Jacquet faced each other again in the doubles partnered by Filippo Moroni and European 18&U Junior Champion Valentin Royer respectively. The French were not able to make it a clean sweep though, with the Italian pair taking the dead rubber 6-4 7-5.
1. France, 2. Italy, 3. Czech Republic, 4. Slovakia, 5. Germany, 6. Great Britain, 7. Austria, 8. Russia
Draw | Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3
Girls Finals - Granville (FRA)
Belarus won their maiden title in 2018, having reached the final on one previous occasion. Slovakia were also one-time champions in 2012, and two-time finalists.
The Slovaks took out Hungary in the quarterfinals and then saw off the challenge of Great Britain, who were coming off an upset of second seeds Russia, in the semi-finals. Although unseeded, Belarus remained on track to defend their title, defeating top seeds France in the quarter finals and then beating third seeds Spain for a place in the final.
Belarus 2 - Slovakia 1
The new European Junior Champion, Anna Kubareva, defeated Viktoria Morvayova 6-4 5-7 7-5 in a marathon opening rubber win for Belarus, before Romana Cisovska beat Viktoriyia Kanapatskaya 6-3 2-6 7-5 to level the tie at one rubber apiece. After two thrilling three-set tussles, all four players came back on court for a mighty battle for the trophy. After a close first set loss, the Belarusians won the second as well as a thrilling championship tiebreak to keep the trophy in their hands for another year, the final score of 5-7 6-4 11-9 indicative of the fighting spirit shown by both teams.
1. Belarus, 2. Slovakia, 3. Spain, 4. Great Britain, 5. Russia, 6. France, 7. Hungary, 8. Turkey
Draw | Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Photos