New champions have been crowned at the Tennis Europe Junior Masters, the season-ending Junior Tour climax which brings together the top 8 boys and girls aged 14 and 16 & Under.
Dino Prizmic of Croatia was the first of the day’s winners, improving his head-to-head record over Tennis Europe Junior Tour #1 Mihai Alexandru Coman to 4-0 with a hard-fought 6-4 7-5 win. Prizmic led 5-2 in the second set and looked on course for a comfortable victory before his Romanian opponent raised his level under intense pressure, saving three match points. Cheered on by a sizeable squad of Croatian players, Prizmic eventually reasserted his authority with a final break of serve to claim the title.
Prizmic gained a spot at the Masters thanks to his silver medal finish at the European Championships in July, and was happy with his win, saying, “It feels great to win here. I was confident about my chances this weekend, but I knew I would have to play well.”
Petra Marcinko made it a Croatian sweep of 14 & Under titles, brushing aside the challenge of third-seeded Czech Amelie Smejkalova 6-3 6-0 in just over an hour. She becomes the first Croatian girl to win the title since Jelena Pandzic in 1996, the very first edition of the competition. “I didn’t expect it to be so comfortable,” she told us. “I have played her before twice and we had both won so I knew it would be tough. This is the biggest title I have won this year, so I am very happy. The organisation has been great, and it has been a lot of fun.”
The Girls 16 & Under final saw Russia’s Ksenia Zaytseva outlast Sebastianna Scilipoti of Switzerland in a high-quality three set battle. That the match was close was no surprise; although it was a first encounter between the two, each player had lost just twice on the Tennis Europe Junior Tour all season, with Zaytseva winning five titles to Scilipoti’s 4.
Scilipoti has Italian roots and enjoyed the support of the crowd but was unable to capitalise after winning an exhausting second set; the penultimate game of which lasted for over 20 minutes. Zaytseva sank to her knees in jubilation after the two-hour battle, saying, “It’s so good to win this tournament, the feeling is unbelievable.”
The final match to be completed was the Boys 16 & Under final, which saw Slovakia’s Peter Nad deny Alen Bill a trio of titles for Croatia, overcoming a jinx in singles finals in the process. Having finished as runner-up in all four of his previous Tour finals in 2019, Nad netted one of the biggest titles of all, wrapping up a third straight sets win of the weekend to become just the second ever Slovakian champion of the Junior Masters.
Bill had won the only previous encounter between the two in straight sets earlier this year in Rijeka, but the tables were turned on this occasion as the Slovakian turned in a dominant performance to win the opener 6-2 before reeling off three straight games to end the second set.
“It’s an amazing feeling to win my first Tennis Europe Junior Tour title here at the Masters,” he said. “I cannot believe it!”
Bronze medals went to Maxim Zhukov (RUS, Boys 14), Nikola Daubnerova (SVK, Girls 14), Peter Privara (SVK, Boys 16) and Kateryna Lazarenko (UKR, Girls 16) after each won a play-off match.
The Tennis Europe Junior Masters was held for a ninth consecutive year at the CT Rocco Polimeni in Reggio Calabria, Italy. Over the years, the tournament has showcased the talents of many future greats, with former champions including the likes of Rafa Nadal, Kim Clijsters, Alexander Zverev and Belinda Bencic.
In addition to the title of Junior Masters champion, the four winners will each receive a one-week stay at the prestigious Mouratoglou Academy in France, where they will be able to continue to develop their game alongside some of the world’s best known players and coaches, and enjoy the Academy’s award-winning facilities.
For a full photo gallery from the Junior Masters, click here.
Draws & Results
Boys 14 & Under | Girls 14 & Under
Boys 16 & Under | Girls 16 & Under