French players were the big winners at this week’s Category 1 TIM Essonne tournament, winning both singles prizes in what was the event’s 36th year. Ninth-ranked Theo Papamalamis won his first title of 2020, as did compatriot Shanice Roignot (pictured, right). Ranked just outside the Top 100 at #101, she will surely see her ranking rocket on Tuesday. Meanwhile, across the far reaches of the Mediterranean, the first week of the 14&U ITF/Tennis Europe Development Championships took place in Antalya, Turkey as well as a slew of other events across the continent.
14&U | TIM Essonne | Sainte-Geneviève-des-Bois (FRA) | Gallery
Tennis Europe #9 Theo Papamalamis (FRA) has won his first tournament of the year. Battling back from a one set deficit, the topsy-turvy final perfectly encapsulated his rollercoaster ride throughout the tournament, as he batted past some tough opponents. Having barely escaped a thrilling three-setter against 15th seeded Belgian Louis-Lou Langenaken, winning the third set tiebreak 7-5, he had a slightly more comfortable quarterfinal win over Sam Pidoux (SUI) in the quarters, taking it in two. Another three-set tussle, this time against Viktor Frydrych (GBR) in the semis, set him in good stead for the final, where he met a perhaps fresher Krystof Svojgr (CZE). The Czech lost the first set of his first match of the tournament, but from thereon put on a powerful display on the road to the final not dropping another set and even brushing aside top seed Janis Raffael Simmen (SUI) in the quarters for the loss of just three games. In the final, he landed the first punch, taking the opening set against Papamalamis, who then fought back to win the title 4-6 6-3 6-3. Papamalamis is the thirteenth French player to win here and joins a list of past champions which includes Richard Gasquet and Corentin Moutet.
More spoils then came for the French, as Shanice Roignot proved to be the surprise packet of the event. Although she had won three 12&U events last year, all in France, she was somewhat unheralded here and, to her benefit, was initially able to progress under the radar. The unseeded player blitzed through the field, and was unrelenting as she was methodical, keeping a clean sheet in all her wins. She was pushed to a tiebreak in the second set of her semi-final against eighth seed Mirra Andreeva (RUS), but was on a roll and refused to yield. In the final, she faced Lucie Urbanova, who had earlier defeated her doubles partner and top seed Sarah Iliev (FRA) in the semi. In what was a dream ending to an amazing event for Roignot, she breezed past Urbanova in the final, posting a 6-2 6-3 win for her first title of the year.
Hephzibah Oluwadare had teamed with Alina Korneeva to win in Khmiki for her first doubles title of the year. Since then, she and Hannah Read have teamed up to play some great tennis, having now reached two doubles finals together as well combining in Britain’s Bronze-medal winning Winter Cup team. Runners-up in Stockholm, they overcame top seeds Iliev & Urbanova for a 6-4 4-6 10-6 finals victory. In an equally enthralling encounter, the Swiss pairing of Pidoux & Simmen got their noses over the line ahead of Leo Cohen Bacrie & Langenaken, winning the boys’ doubles final 2-6 7-5 10-7.
16&U | 19th Realsport Open 16 | Jablonec Nad Nisou (CZE) | Gallery
Always tough to beat, and even more so on home soil, the Czechs ran rampant in Jablonec Nad Nisou winning all the titles on offer as well as fielding finalists in three of the four events. Jakub Mensik outplayed Lukas Janousek, marching to a 6-4 6-4 win, while Viktorie Hazmukova fought back to defeat Tereza Valentova 3-6 6-2 6-1 in the girls’ final. Jakub Jupa & Stepan Mruzek were too strong for top seeds Vit Kalina & Lukas Velik in the boys’ doubles final. Anastasia Bozova & Sonia Pieczynska of Poland upset the second seeded Czech pairing in the semi-finals but fell to the unseeded combination of Barbora Michalkova & Lucie Zasterova in a final that went down to the wire, going down 10-12 in the championship tiebreak.
14&U | TEJT2U14 Ferona Slovan Open U14 | Bratislava (SVK)
Unseeded Denis Petak (CZE) had a triumphant week in the Slovak capital. Up-ending top seed and #4 ranked compatriot Petr Brunclik 7-6(4) 6-3 in the singles final, he also claimed the doubles trophy with Denis Krakovsky (CZE). More Czech victories came in the girls’ draws as Marie Slamenikova was too strong for Karolina Krajmer (SVK), winning their finals joust 7-5 6-2. Krajmer did however collect the doubles trophy, partnering Poland’s Martyna Mackiewicz.
14&U | ITF/Tennis Europe Development Championships Week 1 | Antalya (TUR) | Gallery
Marko Maksimovic (BIH) was the boys’ champion, while Bulgaria’s Rositsa Dencheva took the girls’ title. Honours in the doubles went to Amar Huseinovikj & Filip Stojanovski of North Macedonia in the boys’ event and Dencheva & Yoana Konstantinova (BUL) won the girls’ trophy. Another session of the Tennis Europe Junior School was held on the final Sunday of the first week and was headed by Thomas Hammerl, Tennis Europe CEO.
Follow all the results from Week 2 of the Development Championships, plus all this week’s other events here.