📷 Photo Gallery | Anna Pushkareva and Mark Ceban (GBR) won the 41st edition of Les Petits As Mondial Lacoste. Players from 45 countries came to Tarbes, France, to participate in one of the most prestigious Tennis Europe tournaments and to enjoy the festival-like atmosphere that the organizers ensure every single year.
As expected, the event was full of impressive rallies, unforeseen wins, and fun moments in between matches. This year's first edition of the Tennis Europe Junior School also took place, where the players had the chance to learn more about Safeguarding, the dos and don'ts of Social Media and how important it is to have the right nutrition as an athlete.
Boys’ first seed Savva Rybkin lost early in the tournament against Ecuador’s Emilio Camacho who proved himself to be a very strong opponent. It’s the second year in a row for Rybkin to leave Les Petits As in round three. As for the girls’ top favourite Ksenia Efremova, she faced the eventual winner Anna Pushkareva in the semifinal, against whom she managed to win only 2 games.
Pushkareva breezed through the first rounds yet had a more difficult match facing Maia Burcescu (ROU) in the quarter-final. The Romanian was clearly dominating the match until she injured her ankle at 3-3 in the second set. Even though she was hoping to continue the match, she had to withdraw at 3-5 because of the pain. Thus, Pushkareva advanced to the next round and quickly won the semi-final against Tamina Kotcha (GER). In the final, she faced second seed Giulia Popa (ROU), first ranked in the Race to Monte-Carlo Rankings. Having lost the final in Bolton the week before, Popa was determined to claim the prestigious title. Pushkareva and Popa know each other well, as they teamed up for doubles in Bolton and Tarbes. The last time they had a singles battle was at the Super Category event in Stockholm, in October last year. Following a three-set match, Popa claimed that title. This time, however, Pushkareva was more confident and patient, kept her focus in the important moments and was called champion at the end.
The boys’ draw offered even more unexpected results and comebacks, with an almost double number of thee-sets matches. One of the local favourites Moise Kouame upset #10 seed Paul Hjorteland (NOR) in the first round, who has already won a Tennis Europe title this year. Kouame fell in the quarter-final, however, being defeated by semi-finalist #5 Kaan Isik Kosaner (TUR). It was the eventual winner Mark Ceban who stopped Kosaner’s wins, even though the first part of the match would have said otherwise (1-6 6-1 7-5). The Brit saw #6 Daniel Jade (LBN) in the final, his doubles partner in Tarbes. Ceban chose the right tactical plan, and after 58 minutes claimed victory 6-3 6-2. It’s the second title in a row for him and this win will secure his first place in the Race to Monte-Carlo Ranking.
Even though he left the singles draw earlier than he’d hoped, Kouame teamed up with Svit Suljic (SLO) and won the doubles title against the Czech pair of Tomas Krejci & Jakub Kusy 6-7(7) 6-4 10-3. The girls’ doubles trophy was lifted by Sara Oliveriusova & Lucie Slamenikova (CZE) after a long final against Lia Belibova (MDA) & Oliwia Sybicka (POL).
For full draws and results from the tournament, click here