A busy week on the Junior Tour was highlighted by two of the biggest events held in over a year, with the top 14 and 16 & Under players in action in Russia and Spain respectively.
CHRISTMAS CUP PRESENTED BY ONE SGM 2021 - 14&U Super Category | Khimki, Russia
In a battle of two of the Tour's in-form stars, Maxim Mrva got the better of Egor Gorin to win a tight 6-3 7-6(4) final and secure his first ever Super Category title. Coming into the match, Gorin had been a slight favorite on paper, seeded higher and with a swathe of winners and runners up trophies from the season so far. The fourth seed had lost just one set all tournament, in his semi-final victory over compatriot Artem Bogomolov. Mrva’s title run was even more impressive, including a win over top seed and European #1 Timofei Derepasko (RUS) in the quarterfinal. This is Mrva’s second title of the year, after having won the Soul Cup in Istanbul in March. Meanwhile, Gorin is setting himself up nicely for a spot at the Junior Masters: this was already his sixth singles final of 2021.
The girls’ top seed, European #1 Alina Korneeva (RUS), was in command on home soil. She was unrelenting in her quest to consolidate her ranking and secure a place in Monte-Carlo. Taken to a third set tiebreaker in the semi-final by eighth seeded doubles partner Daria Egorova (RUS), she was otherwise untroubled throughout the event. In just her second event of the year, she took the final over compatriot Ksenia Smirnova 6-0 6-2. Smirnova had been looking for a hat trick of Russian titles this year, having triumphed at both the Togliatti Cup and the Kremlin Cup Junior.
Honours in the boys’ doubles went to the Italian-Swiss combination of Federico Cina & Flynn Thomas who outplayed Duje Markovina (CRO) & Ognjen Milic (SRB) 6-2 6-2 in the final. Meanwhile top seeds Korneeva & Egorova won the girls’ the tournament with a 6-3 6-2 win over Melinda Biro (HUN) & Dora Miskovic (CRO).
Fitting for a tournament of its stature was the remarkable organisation of this year‘s first Super Category event. Treated to DJs, MCs, qualifying, warm-up courts, light shows and everything one would expect from a professional tournament, the Christmas Cup showed once again why it is one of the most popular stops on the 14 & Under circuit. | Gallery
19º MEMORIAL NACHO JUNCOSA - 16&U Category 1 | Vic, Spain
With a new date and the new venue this year, the long-established tournament continued to attract some of the best talent from across the continent. The boys’ top seed Martin Landaluce of Spain was appearing on the Junior Tour for the first time since winning two 14 & Under Super Category events at the beginning of 2020 and continued his winning ways all the way to the final. In the deciding match he was undone by a dominant performance from second seeded Pole Tomasz Berkieta, who conceded just two games, extending his head-to-head record to 2-0 against Landaluce and scoring a first ever 16 & Under title, having also won in the 12 and 14 & Under age groups.
With the top two girls seeds bowing out early on in the tournament, the final was a battle between two unseeded players. Local hopes lay with Ana Martinez Vaquero, who was playing her first final. However, qualifier Vera Sokolova managed to keep her at bay with a 6-3 6-3 win which gave the Russian her first trophy in three years on the Tennis Europe Junior Tour. This fantastic result will see her ranking skyrocket from #193 when tomorrow’s update is made.
The boys’ doubles saw Spaniards Alex Alvarez & Kenneth Rabinad Vila defeat Berkieta & David Alexandru Gheorghe (ROU) 6-3 6-4. In an all-Spanish girls’ doubles final, second seeds Alexia Gonzalez Galina & Cristina Ramos Sierra pipped Martinez Vaquero & Neus Torner Sensano to the post with a 4-6 6-4 10-4 win.
Among the week's other highlights in Vic was a wheelchair tennis master class hosted by former ATP world #5 Tommy Robredo. | Gallery
INTERNATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS OF ROMANIA - 14&U | Bucharest, Romania
Two local players scored double wins on home soil. In the boys’ events, the 2020 Les Petits As doubles finalist, sixth-ranked Gabriel Ghetu, won the singles event and took the doubles title with German partner Max Pade. Meanwhile, Anamaria Federica Oana managed the same feat, with the help of compatriot Vanessa Ioana Nocaci in the doubles. | Gallery
MLADOST GRILL OPEN - 14&U | Zagreb, Croatia
The 2021 Salona Cup champ Gabriele Crivellaro (ITA) notched his second title of the year in Croatia. A four-time doubles champ this season and with one singles final under her belt, Alena Kovackova (CZE) finally got her well-earned singles title. She also teamed up with compatriot Eliska Forejtkova to win the girls’ doubles, while the Dutch pairing of Thijs Boogaard & Mees Rottgering were the boys’ doubles champs.
For a full list of winners from the above tournaments plus the week’s category 3 and 12 & Under events, please click here.
With ten events, Week 17 was the busiest the Tour has seen in many months. The packed schedule continues as we move from spring into summer, with almost 200 events in 38 countries scheduled between April and July. Keep up to date with the latest additions to the calendar here.