📷 Photo Gallery | Julia Stusek (GER) and Thijs Boogaard (NED) are taking home singles and doubles trophies from the 40th edition of Les Petits As Mondial Lacoste. The world’s leading 14 & Under tournament once again attracted a field of top players from across the globe, but the two European players dominated their events to score rare title sweeps.
After an injury-hit 2021, in which she had to pull out of Tarbes after her first-round win, and later give up her spot in the Junior Masters due to injury, this victory will be extra-sweet for the third-ranked Stusek. For Boogaard, the win marks his third time as a Junior Tour singles champion.
Stusek defeated unseeded Hannah Klugman (GBR) 6-3 6-3 in the girls’ final, while Boogaard had to come from behind to win 3-6 6-2 6-3 over doubles partner Carel Aubriel Ngounoue (USA) in a fitting finale to the tournament.
Once the pre-tournament fanfare and celebrations of inaugurating the 40th year wrapped up, it was time to get down to some tennis. With cooler temperatures than the blistering summer conditions of the special September edition last year, there were bigger crowds on-site and plenty to follow online with a fantastic live streaming and commentary service worthy of a Super Category tournament.
Stusek made her way to the semis after convincing performances in her first three matches. A three-set win over Turkey’s Ada Kumru in the quarterfinals set up the German’s clash with top seed Alena Kovackova (CZE) in the semi-finals. Kovackova reached the same stage after a re-match of the recent Christmas Cup final, once again ousting Russian Alisa Oktiabreva in straight sets to set up the clash with the eventual champion. Stusek scored a second Junior Tour win over the highest seed, recovering from a set down to book her final spot in three sets.
Having reached the semis last year, Brit Klugman seems at home on the hard courts of Tarbes. Her wildcard status belies her talent, as demonstrated by that amazing run to the semis in 2021 at the age of just 11, and also going one step further this year. Klugman looks set to be a player to look out for this season, her runner-up spot being just her third loss in 38 Junior Tour matches so far.
The boys’ event was rocked by the straight-sets third round ousting of top seed Flynn Thomas (SUI) by Ecuadorian fifteenth seed Tito Chavez, a winner on the Junior Tour in Cyprus in 2021. Chavez was then shown the door by unseeded Romanian Matei Todoran who in turn lost to Boogaard in the semi-finals.
The other half of the draw also offered up its share of unexpected results. Tennis Europe 12 & Under Festival champion Savva Rybkin (RUS) defeated seventh seeded German Niels McDonald before also falling in round three, a great result nevertheless for one of the youngest players in the field. Second seed Ivan Ivanov (BUL) made inroads but was held back at the quarterfinal stage by Ngounoue, who went on to outclass compatriot Keaton Hance in straight sets in the semis.
Ngounoue, whose sister Clervie was a finalist in Tarbes in 2020 and who just won the Australian Open junior girls’ doubles title, emulated his sibling by winning the doubles in Tarbes. The two singles finalists teamed up to overpower the German combination of McDonald and Diego Dedura-Palomero 6-2 6-3. Stusek also scored a double victory, teaming up with Samsonova to win the girls’ doubles title. In Saturday’s final, they defeated Oktiabreva and Sona Depesova (SVK) 7-5 6-2.
During the presentation ceremony, the players were eager to acknowledge the amazing organization and logistics involved in putting together such a massive event. “Thanks to the organisers, and to and my team for supporting me all the time,” stated Stusek, while Boogard also remarked, “I want to congratulate Carel on the final, and the doubles as well, as well as all the organisers and ball kids. Merci!”
For full draws and results from the tournament, click here.