Unseeded local underdog, Mingge Xu (GBR) has claimed her biggest ever win on the Tennis Europe Junior Tour by upsetting eighth-seeded compatriot Hephzibah Oluwadare in the final of the Junior International Bolton. Elsewhere, Americans blitzed the field in all the other categories at the event played at the Bolton Arena, claiming all final spots in the three other events. Xu now joins a select list of past champions, which includes the likes of Andy Murray, Justine Henin and Coco Gauff.
Breezing through the early rounds Xu blasted her opponents off the court, and even sent American Maya Joint, the conqueror of top seed Valerija Maija Kargina (LAT), packing in a blink-and-you-missed it quarter final. Moving into the semi-finals, Xu upset the more experienced fourth seed Sarah Iliev (FRA) and proceeded to take that form into the final, where she outplayed her compatriot. For her part, Oluwadare had also looked to be a force to be reckoned with coming into the final. She, like Xu, had not dropped a set on route to the final, and after a commanding win over third seed Anastasiia Firman (UKR) in the semis, a battle looked set to ensue. Alas, it was not to be as Xu dominated the match and claimed the title with a convincing 6-2 6-2 win in the final - her first ever Category 1 win. Last year she was the champion of the Category 3 event in Liverpool, but with her powerhouse performance she will be one of the players to watch in 2020.
It was not a tournament to write home about for the top boys’ seeds as #1 Theo Papalamis (FRA) and #3 Sebastian Cauhape (BEL) both exited in round three while second seed Manvydas Balciunas (NED) never made it to the main draw, having to pull out prior to the commencement of the event. His absence created a small window of opportunity in his quarter of the draw, a gap that ninth seed Alexander Razeghi (USA) took full advantage of. He earned himself a spot in the finals after ousting seventh seeded Briton Viktor Frydrych in the semis. After the capitulation of so many seeds in the top half of the draw, the other semi saw two unseeded players slug it out. Another Brit, Jamie Diack, was on the losing end to yet another American in the form of Nikita Samuel Filin, falling in two very tight sets.
So in the end, it was Razeghi who would dominate the final, taking the match for the loss of just three games against Filin - a feat he would repeat in the all-American doubles final. Teaming with Mitchell Lee, they beat Filin & Kaylan Bigun 6-4 6-4. The girls’ doubles final also featured four Americans. Brooklyn Olson & Mia Slama edged out Joint & Lexington Reed 6-3 2-6 10-7.
Another successful event has come and gone in Bolton. With back-to-back big events, many of the players now move on to the second Super Category tournament of the year, ‘Les Petits As’.
The Category 2 event in Narva, Estonia is still under way. Today (Saturday) is semi finals day. All of the boys’ top four and the top three girls’ seeds, including local favourite #1 seed Brit Martin, will be vying for a place in Sunday’s final.
Be sure to follow us on Twitter and Instagram for full results from Narva. In addition, the draws and order of play can be found here.
For a full list of winners from here and elsewhere over this past week, as well as photos, please click here.