Summer Cups champions Russia (girls) and Italy (boys) are celebrating tonight after becoming the world 14 & Under team champions.
The culmination of a frenetic week of high-quality competition in Prostejov (CZE) saw Russia’s girls beat Bulgaria in a repeat of last month’s Europa Cup final. Just as in San Remo, the two singles rubbers were enough to secure victory, with Mirra Andreeva beating Rositsa Dencheva 6-3 6-2, and European #1 Alina Korneeva beating Yoana Konstantinova 6-4 6-3.
The win is Russia’s first since 2018, when Andreeva’s older sister Erika was part of the team. Bulgaria was competing in the World Championships final for the first time, another significant step forward for this generation of players, following on from their maiden appearance in the European final.
In the boys’ final, Italy put a stop to Russia’s hopes of a double win in emphatic fashion. Andrea De Marchi (pictured) put the Copa del Sol champions ahead with a 6-1 6-3 upset of Egor Gorin in the first rubber.
Next up was a highly anticipated tie between in-form Federico Cina, winner of 19 of his last 20 matches on the Junior Tour, and the player ranked directly above him at #3, Timofey Derepasko. The Russian dug deep to level the match in the second set, but Cina was merciless in the deciding set, accelerating away with the last six games to seal the title with a 6-3 5-7 6-0 win. Italy thus claims the World Championship for a third time, having previously won in 1994 and 2006.
Hosts stopped in semi-finals
Russia ended the runs of the host nation in both semi-finals. The girls recovered from a 1-6 1-6 loss for Korneeva to Tereza Valentova, a battle between the Junior Tour’s top two ranked players and a re-match of their recent European Junior Championship final. After an equally one sided win for Andreeva over Nela Jandova, the Russian pair eventually sealed a doubles victory in three sets to end the Czech’s reign as champions.
The boys were also pushed to their limits but Derepasko and Egor Pleshivtsev came through a deciding doubles by beating European doubles champions Maxim Mrva and Jan Kumstat in a champions’ tie break.
Strong European presence
European teams were dominant in Prostejov, accounting for 7 of the 8 boys and 5 of the 8 girls’ quarterfinal spots, and subsequently all semi-final berths. The final rounds featured many of the Tennis Europe Junior Tour’s current stars, with 12 Top 10 players in action on semi-finals day alone.
Finland and Germany made notable inroads in the boys’ competitions. Having originally just missed out on qualifying, both nations accepted late invitations due to late withdrawals. Germany reached the semi-finals and pushed the eventual champions to a deciding doubles match, while Finland emerged from the group phase to finish sixth.
For complete results from Prostejov, visit the ITF site (boys) (girls) | 📷 Photos
The next major junior team competitions are the finals of the Junior Davis Cup and Junior Billie Jean King Cup, due to be held in Antalya, Turkey, from 28th September. 6 European nations qualified from the recent 16 & Under Summer Cups competitions and are scheduled to take part in each event.