Romania has claimed a maiden 14 & Under Winter Cups title, downing first-time finalists Poland in Saturday’s title showdown. Improving on last year’s runner-up spot, the Romanians carved their way through the field on the way to the boys’ title. There’s great news too for the Czech Republic, as the girls’ team won on home soil, taking a second title in three years and re-claiming the trophy from last year’s winners Russia in the final.
Girls 14 & Under Finals, Rakovnik (CZE) | Photo Gallery
Czech Republic d Russia 2-1
They say that revenge is a dish best served cold but as the two teams met on the final day for a second successive year it was the Russian team that caught their hosts cold in the opener, as Mirra Andreeva raced to a 6-4 6-1 win over Lucie Urbanova. The second match saw a tough three set battle, with Sara Bejlek eventually levelling the tie, overcoming Alina Korneeva in a gruelling 3-6 6-3 6-3 comeback win. For the deciding doubles all four players returned to court. In a straightforward match, the Czech Republic was too strong, claiming a 6-1 6-4 win to wrest the title from Russia and avenge last year’s loss.
Great Britain won the bronze medals, beating Poland 2-0.
Boys 14 & Under Finals, Veska (CZE) | Photo Gallery
Romania d Poland 2-0
In the boys’ final, Calin Teodor Stirbu outplayed Mikolaj Migdalski to put Romania ahead with a 6-3 6-2 win. Luca Preda then secured Romania’s first ever 14&U Winter Cups win after a hard-fought 7-5 7-5 win over Tomasz Berkieta. The doubles match was left unplayed, a 2-0 lead being enough to seal the deal and close out a historical moment for the Romanian team.
Czech Republic claimed the bronze medals, with a 2-0 win over Germany.
Road to the Finals
Romania’s Gabriel Ghetu did not play in the finals but did participate in Zone C qualifying for Romania and was part of the winning doubles team in their first round qualifying win against Hungary. The Romanians then went on with 2-1 wins over Turkey and Italy to qualify first in their group for the finals. They kept up the trend of winning by a 2-1 scoreline in matches over Switzerland and Germany in the final rounds, before facing Poland in the grand final.
In qualifying the Czech girls started off in very convincing fashion, shutting out Moldova 3-0 and then followed that up by defeating Israel by the same margin. They topped the qualifying group after a 2-1 win against Germany. In the finals, the Czechs started in scintillating fashion, dismissing both France and Poland without the loss of rubber, a sure indication that they would be tough to beat in the final.
1. Romania, 2. Poland, 3. Czech Republic, 4. Germany, 5. Italy, 6. Switzerland, 7. Spain, 8. Russia
1. Czech Republic, 2. Russia, 3. Great Britain, 4. Poland, 5. Germany, 6. France, 7. Ukraine, 8. Bulgaria
Full draws and results from the qualifying and final rounds, plus photo galleries from many of the venues, can be found here.
The 16 & Under finals will be played on Sunday 23rd February. All draws and schedules are here.