Tennis Europe Junior Tour

Italian players inspired to victory in Rome

Italian players inspired to victory in Rome

It has been a historic week on the Tennis Europe calendar, with the Category 1 Internazionali D’Italia 16 & Under event in Rome being the first Junior Tour tournament ever to be held concurrently with an ATP/WTA 1000 series event. | 📷 Photo Gallery

Throughout the week the Junior Tour players had the unique opportunity to train and play alongside former TEJT standouts and top stars of today, such as Iga Swiatek, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Coco Gauff, and Alexander Zverev.

The tournament took place at the Foro Italico stadium and on a court specially prepared by the Italian Tennis and Padel Federation (FITP) at the Piazza del Popolo, one of the most iconic spots in Rome. The first to play on the court, surrounded by Roman history, was Nikol Marie Jarolimkova (CZE).

“I was so nervous because there were so many people watching us, but I think I played very well. The court at the Piazza is amazing, from the location to the organization… definitely a unique experience,” she said.

The draws had many surprises, with several top seeds being upset early in the week. Top seed Jan Sadzik of Poland was defeated in the quarterfinals by Giovanni Conigliaro (ITA), while second seed Mattia Cappellari fell to Dominik Dujka in the first round. Vlada Razina [2], Valeria Garnevska (BUL) [5], and Katerina Oustampasidou (GRE) [6] also lost in the first round, all defeated by home favorites who were clearly inspired by the location and highly motivated to win on home soil.

Boys’ Singles

It was an all-Italian final, with Raffaele Ciurnelli (pictured) and Matteo Gribaldo battling for the big trophy. They both breezed through the event, winning all matches quickly in two sets. It was Ciurnelli who dominated the court today to secure his first-ever TEJT title after a 6-1 6-4 win.

Girls’ Singles

The top seed Ilary Pistola (ITA) had a fantastic week, not dropping more than six games in any match. Facing Barbara Kostecka (POL) in the final, she kept her focus and claimed her first 16 & Under title, winning 6-4 6-2 after 90 minutes of play.


Seven of the eight doubles finalists were Italian, with Virginia Proietti & Ylenia Zocco outlasting Alessandra Fiorillo & Francesca Galli 6-4 6-7 10-7 to take the girls’ title. Ciurnelli then sealed the biggest day of his young career so far by teaming up with Pietro Ricci for a nailbiting 4-6 6-1 11-9 win over Francesco Pansecchi & Slovak Leon Sloboda to add the doubles title to his earlier singles win. 

After a truly special week, during which the junior players were supported by enormous crowds on the fabled courts, all four titles rest in Italian hands. Players are already looking forward to next year's event as word spreads of this unique and valuable experience.


Dr. Oetker Junior Trophy – Bucharest, 14 & Under Category 1

Meanwhile in Bucharest, top seed and leader in the Race to Monte-Carlo Rankings, Eric Lorimer (GBR), fell to compatriot Isaac Sallu in the quarterfinals, right after Sallu had already upset 7th seed Marek Smejcky (CZE). However, Sallu lost to Scott Watson (GBR), who went on to win the title after a final against French player Evan Giurescu. Watson’s best week so far on Tour means Britain is likely to claim three of the top four players in next week’s Race to Monte-Carlo rankings. | 📷 Photo Gallery

In the girls draw, Ofir Manhard (ISR) was unstoppable most of the week. On her road to the final, she upset four top seeds, including #1 Viktorija Cesonyte (LTU). It was Maria Valentina Pop (ROU) who put an end to her winning streak, claiming the title. It’s the first Category 1 title for Pop since her 12&U debut.

Boys’ Doubles

Eric Lorimer & Scott Watson (GBR) def. Andrei Radu (ROU) & Niall Pickerd-Barua (GBR) 7-6 6-2

Girls’ Doubles

Eva Kaliadina & Tea Kovacevic (BIH) def. Daria Bilyk (UKR) & Viktorija Cesonyte (LTU) 7-5 6-4

Elsewhere on the Junior Tour this week:

Many of the Tour’s Race to Monte-Carlo contenders were in action at one of the Tour’s most popular stops: the Category 2 combined 14 and 16 & Under Bergantov Memorial event in Maribor, Slovenia. The top two seeds emerged to contest three of the four singles finals. The 14 & Under event saw Darina Matvejeva (LAT) claim her third title of the year, while Rafael Pagonis (GRE) picked up a fourth singles trophy.

There was much for Slovenia to celebrate in the 16 & Under event, with home players picking up a first ever Junior Tour singles title in both the boys’ (Mark Becirovic Novak) and girls’ (Ema Mastnak) competitions.

At the Airok Viljandi 16&U Open in Estonia, home favourite Nora Adamson upset top seeded Marina Markina (LAT) to take the singles title. The pair then later teamed up to win the doubles event. They boys’ title also went to a home player, unseeded Robin Sirk, who upset top seed Alex Tuomolin (FIN).

The Category 1 12&U All In Open on France’s C’ote D’Azur saw wins for Noah Honsberger (SUI) and Elizaveta Anikina (EST), both of whom boost their chances of receiving invites to the season ending Carlos Moya Festival, to be held in Mallorca in November.

For full results from all of this week’s events, click here.

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