Taça Internacional Maia Jovem, Portugal, 14 & Under Super Category
Alena Kovackova (CZE) and Timofei Derepasko (RUS) have won the XXVIII Taça Internacional Maia Jovem 2021, this year’s final Super Category tournament on the Tennis Europe Junior Tour. Favourites on paper going into the final, both players were the higher seeds and outdid Laura Samsonova (CZE) and Ludvig Hede (SWE) in the decider. This is Derepasko’s second title of the year, and biggest win so far, although his other title was a 16&U event in Minsk. Kovackova has had a sensational year, playing her eighth final of 2021 and posting her biggest win so far.
There were few major upsets early on with most of the top seeds progressing as expected through the early rounds. One big upset was when unseeded Carel Aubriel Ngounoue (USA) stunned fifth seed Egor Gorin (RUS) 6-4 6-0 in the second round. Although he also lost earlier than he would have liked last week in Tarbes, he still has plenty of time to get back some of that form which took him the title in Minsk (Belankton Cup) as well as the final of another Super Category tournament in Khimki earlier in the year.
Ngounoue continued to win, and indeed was the only unseeded player left by the quarter final stage of either draw. The Czech girls showed their potential, providing three of the last eight players, and then three of the four semifinalists. Germany and Russia provided two boys’ quarterfinalists each, and two out of four semifinalists.
After taking out Gorin in round two, Ngounoue upset another seed, Tim Sickenberger (14, GER), in the Round of 16 before falling to Hede in the quarters. The Swede then beat Justin Engel (GER) in the semis to advance to the final. Derepasko had beaten compatriot Egor Pleshivtsev in the semifinals to advance to his fourth final of 2021. In a long battle, the top seed Derepasko nabbed the title 6-4 3-6 7-5 as a Hede forehand sailed long on match point.
The girls’ top seed and Race to Monte-Carlo leader, Ksenia Smirnova (RUS) was making great progress, not dropping a step before running into an in-form Samsonova (currently ranked fifth in the Race) in the semifinals. The Czech would go on to the semifinal where she beat another of the contenders to qualify for the Junior Masters, Dora Miskovic of Croatia.
The other semifinal was an all-Czech affair with Kovackova besting seventh seed Eliska Forejtkova. Kovackova kept up her form in the final, with yet another win over a compatriot. After a second set lull, the number three came back to win 7-5 1-6 6-4 over sixth seed Samsonova, strengthening her claim for a coveted spot in Monte-Carlo. Kovackova’s win marks her biggest title yet, although her record so far is incredibly impressive. She had previously played in five 14&U Category 2 finals, winning four. In addition, she has appeared in two 16&U Category 3 finals, winning one.
Boys’ doubles final:
Jamie McKenzie (NZL) & Max Schoenhaus (GER) def. Kolos Kincses (HUN) & William Rejchtman Vinciguerra (SWE) 6-3 6-2
Girls’ doubles final:
Eliska Forejtkova (CZE) & Laura Samsonova (CZE) def. Lena Couto (POR) & Ellen Katzerova (CZE) 7-5 6-3
Located on the outskirts of Porto on the Atlantic coast, the beautiful Maia Sporting Complex played host to this event, now in its 28th year, over the last week. With streaming available every day as well as a dedicated social media team posting daily updates as well as great content including interviews with many players, the Maia Jovem has settled expertly into its status as one of the Tour’s elite ‘Super Category’ events.
Draws and Results
Boys Singles | Boys Doubles | Qualifying
Girls Singles | Girls Doubles | Qualifying
📷 Photo Gallery
International 15-16 Ans | Le Chambon Sur Lignon (FRA), Category 2 16 & Under
Number 12 in the 16&U Race, Russian Mariia Masiianskaia will see her points tally improve after her win at this tournament. She beat French player Daphnee Mpetshi Perricard 7-6(4) 6-1 in the singles final on top of her win in the doubles where she partnered Carolina Dibenedetto (ITA) to win the trophy.
The boys’ champion is Simon Norrman from Slovakia. He beat Nicolas Dispas from Belgium 6-4 6-1 in the final. The Belgian also scored a victory in the doubles, winning the title with Georgi Georgiev (BUL).
As the Race to Monte-Carlo tightens, this week represents a final chance for players to secure those valuable ranking points ahead of the next definitive update. Check out where your favourite players are competing this week on the Junior Tour calendar.