Tennis Europe Junior Tour

Kovackova & Lorimer claim landmark singles titles in Maia

Kovackova & Lorimer claim landmark singles titles in Maia

Jana Kovackova and Eric Lorimer are this year’s Maia Super Category champions. The Brit has bagged his biggest ever win on the TEJT and adds to his Category 1 win at Tim Essonne earlier in the year. Kovackova, on the other hand, continues from strength to strength. She has now earned her second Super Category win on the 14&U circuit this year, having won in Stockholm a few weeks ago. The 14&U Race to Monte-Carlo leader also picked up her first ever 16&U win last month at the Category 1 event in Torelló. 

Kovackova beat Viktorija Cesonyte (LTU) 6-2 6-2 in the girls’ final. After the match the #1 ranked player stated that she was extremely happy with her level and the way she played. “Winning here feels good,” was all she needed to say, as her tennis had spoken for itself. 

Lorimer was declared the champion yesterday after his opponent, Plamen Kolev (BUL) pulled out of the final after injuring himself in the semis, despite winning the match. The Briton was pleased with his performance in Maia, “this week I played very well and executed my game excellently, being really aggressive and going forward. I played some tough matches, especially in the quarters against Izan Bañares who was a finalist in Tarbes.” The Brit won that match 6-4 1-6 7-6(6) after saving four match points in a contest that felt like a final in itself.

“It was a great feeling to play Izan and beat him. I would have preferred to play the final and show what I can do on the court. Overall, I’m happy but it’s not the way I wanted it to go. Plamen played really well this week and he deserved to be in the final and it’s just a shame he couldn’t play.” (Photo: finalists Lorimer & Kolev)

Kolev got through his semi against France's Charles Rossillol 6-3 7-5 after being 1-5 and 0-40 down in the second set. The Bulgarian had previously won his quarterfinal over top seed Johann Nagel-Heyer (GER), who withdrew due to a stomach upset, yet another walkover in a boys’ draw beset by misfortune.

As has been the tradition in recent years, the boys and girls take turns playing either indoors or outdoors. This year it was the girls’ turn to take advantage of the roof, and it certainly didn’t hurt those with faster games.  Tea Kovacevic (BIH) and Anastasiia Nikolaieva (UKR) progressed to the quarters and semis respectively but were both halted by Kovackova. Laura Chlumska (CZE) and her doubles partner Ayse Bal (TUR) also made it to the last eight and last four respectively, however could not get past the scrappy never-say-die attitude of Cesonyte. The Lithuanian wore down her bigger hitting opponents, keeping her unforced errors to a minimum while patiently eliciting them from her opponents.

Having witnessed this, in the final Kovackova came out with all guns blazing and was too strong for Cesonyte. When broken back to love at 3-1 in the first set, she immediately struck back with a barrage of winners, punishing any short balls or second serves for clean winners.

Early on, the Czech hit a number of unforced errors when pushed back by deep loopy topspins. Nevertheless, she took the first set 6-2 and then went into another gear, even hitting clean winners off first serves. Arguably she saved her best tennis for the final, peaking when it mattered most. She imposed her game on Cesonyte and was unpeturbed by the Lithuanian’s counterpunching match play, which her two previous big-hitting opponents both fell victim to. In just over an hour Kovackova had won her 10th TEJT singles title.


Kovackova teamed with compatriot Katerina Zajickova to beat Chlumska and Bal in the final. The all-Czech combo saved three match points in the championship tiebreak, before claiming the win on their first match point, nabbing the title 6-3 4-6 12-10.

A visibly elated Giorgio Ghia and Giuseppe Samarelli won the boys’ doubles title. The exuberant Italian pair got the better of Brits Niall Pickerd-Barua and Scott Watson, also winning the title in a deciding tiebreak, 4-6 6-3 10-8.

More from Maia

For all draws and results from Maia, click here | For photos, click here.

Elsewhere on the Junior Tour

it was a curious case of second-time-lucky for some of this week’s winners:

  • Aqua Gala Open| Beograd, Serbia | 14&U Cat.2
    Lucas Alexandru Milos (ROU) won his first ever TEJT 14&U singles title and second overall. Local Ena Ilic adds to her Bitola Open title from 2023, also winning her second tour singles title.
  • National Sport Park Open | Tirana, Albania | 14&U Cat.3
    Eric Ten (SWE) and Alexandra Shreider (UKR) also claimed their second TEJT singles titles. 
  • Atik 23 April Cup | Antalya, Turkey | 12&U Cat.1
    Keeping with the theme of notching a second TEJT win, Emilia Henningsen (DEN) won her second TEJT singles title as did Platon Gripich in the boys’ singles.

For all of this week's results and more, click here.

Coming Up...

There are 11 Junior Tour tournaments being held this week, including some of the Tour’s best-known events. The 16 & Under circuit is headlined by the 22nd Nacho Juncosa Memorial in Vic, Spain. The famous Mladost Grill Category 2 event sees some of the top 14 & Unders in action in Croatia, while Italy hosts the 21st edition of the much-loved Trofeo Maglie 12 & Under event.

Look out for Tennis Europe at the IMG Future Stars event in Athens. Many of the world’s top 12 & Under players are in action at the exclusive event, where a special Junior School session will form part of the off court attractions.

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