Czech Republic has claimed a first 16 & Under Boys’ Winter Cups by HEAD trophy in Ronchin, France. Having reached the final on five occasions, the Czechs join Russia as the only nation to have won all six possible Winter Cups titles.*
Meanwhile, Russia’s girls’ team won a third consecutive 16 & Under title. The team continues to dominate this event, having now played nine of the last ten finals. In the deciding match they conquered the Netherlands, who were playing in the final for the first time since their most recent victory in 1991.
Boys 16 & Under Finals, Ronchin (FRA)
Czech Republic d France 3-0
Jakub Nicod got the ball rolling for the Czechs, posting a 6-2 6-4 win over 2018 Kremlin Cup Junior champ Luca Van Assche in the opening rubber. Matthew William Donald then kept the momentum going for the visitors, edging past Sean Cuenin in a tight 7-5 7-6(6) win. Playing on home soil, the local team did try to salvage some pride in the doubles, however it was not to be. It was the Czech Republic’s moment in the sun as they hammered home a 3-0 win with another straight sets victory. Last year’s 14 & Under European Junior Champion and Tennis Europe Junior Tour Player of the Year, Vojtech Petr, teamed with Nicod to outdo Van Assche & Antoine Ghibaudo 6-3 6-4.
Girls 16 & Under Finals, Brest (FRA)
Russia d Netherlands 2-1
Erika Andreeva and Diana Shnaider got the Russians off to an unassailable lead, both posting straight sets victories in their singles rubbers. They defeated Anouk Koevermans and Sophie Schouten 6-4 6-4 and 6-1 6-3 respectively to end the Dutch team’s hopes of a first win in almost three decades. Also playing for pride, the girls from Holland fought it out in the doubles, taking it to a decider. Unlike the French boys, they were able to come away with a victory, with Koevermans & Florentine Dekkers beating Schnaider & Elena Pridankina 7-6(4) 3-6 10-4.
Road to the Finals
In what was a truly impressive display of team tennis, the Czech boys were extremely dominant in their performances throughout the entire competition. At the qualifying rounds they defeated both Montenegro and Poland 3-0 and lost just one rubber to Russia in the qualifying final. Prior to defeating France in the final, the Czechs also defeated Italy and Bulgaria by the same 3-0 score line.
Russia’s route to the girls’ final was slightly more arduous. In the qualifying rounds they began strongly with a 3-0 win over Estonia. This was backed up by a 2-1 win over Great Britain where they lost the dead rubber. They did have to hustle after losing the second match to Belarus in the qualifying final, but victory in the doubles sealed Russia’s positions as the top seeds for the final rounds. Their first match In Brest against hosts France was a battle, with the favourites surviving a tight championship tiebreak in the deciding doubles. To qualify for the final, Russia eased past eventual bronze medallists Germany 3-0 in the semis.
*The Czech Republic won the title as part of Czechoslovakia in 1991.
1. Czech Republic, 2. France, 3. Belgium, 4. Italy, 5. Turkey, 6. Russia, 7. Spain, 8. Bulgaria
1. Russia, 2. Netherlands, 3. Germany, 4. Belarus, 5. Czech Republic, 6. France, 7. Poland, 8. Switzerland