Tennis Europe Junior Tour

Russia & Czech Republic swap Nations Challenge by HEAD titles

Russia & Czech Republic swap Nations Challenge by HEAD titles

Russia (girls) and Czech Republic (boys) were the defending champions at Europe's team event for the best 12 & Under players. As the 2021 edition wraps up, the two nations once again emerged as champions, but swapped trophies, with the Russian boys and Czech girls taking the honours.

Both final rounds were held in France, with the boys’ teams travelling to Dijon, while the girls played in Ajaccio. A total of 61 national teams took part in the qualifying competition a fortnight ago, from which the top two teams from each of the four qualifying groups progressed to the finals.

GIRLS’ FINAL

Having topped their respective round-robin groups, the girls’ final saw Czech Republic take on Russia, who were seeking a seventh title from eight final appearances. The opening rubber was key, and saw Sofie Hettlerova (CZE) weather a fightback from Ksenia Ruchkina before winning in three sets to give the Czechs an early lead. Veronika Sekerkova followed up in dominant style, conceding just three games to Anna Pushkareva in a battle between two of the 12 & Under circuit’s most dominant players this season.

With the tie decided, the doubles was not played and the Czechs enjoyed an early celebration. The win marks a third title in the last four years for the Czech girls (pictured, below).

More info: Nominations | Group A | Group B | Results |  đź“· Photos 

BOYS’ FINAL

Russia was made to work somewhat harder to the boys’ event in Dijon against a team with home advantage. Savva Rybkin showed why he has won three titles already this season, edging a tie break in the first set before sealing a 7-6 6-3 win over Arthur Lenglet. To the delight of his team, Moise Kouame levelled things up for the hosts, striking back after the loss of the first set to beat Alexey Frolov 4-6 6-0 6-3. Frolov has won 36 matches this season and lost just two, but Kouame remains unbeaten in his 12 matches on the Junior Tour.

With the tie even at 1-1 the deciding doubles allowed Frolov & Rybkin to showcase their relative experience, and the Russian pair eased to a 6-4 6-1 win to claim the trophy for a third time overall, and first since 2012.

More info: Nominations | Group A | Group B | Results | đź“· Photos 

Russia and the Czech Republic therefore end the summer with three of Europe’s junior team championship titles each. In addition to the 12 & Under titles, Russia won the Girls’ 14 and 18 & Under Summer Cups, while Czech Republic won both 16 & Under titles. Only Italy (14 & Under boys) and France (18 & Under boys) were able to interrupt the two dominant nations.


FINAL STANDINGS

GIRLS

Gold: Czech Republic
Silver: Russia
Bronze: Romania
4th: Poland
5th: Slovakia
6th: Italy
7th: Serbia
8th: Spain

BOYS

Gold: Russia
Silver: France
Bronze: Germany
4th: Czech Republic
5th: Poland
6th: Israel
7th: Estonia
8th: Romania

 

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