Tennis Europe Junior Tour

Elite Under 16s extend winning streaks

Elite Under 16s extend winning streaks

TEJT 100x100Another busy week on the Tennis Europe Junior Tour was highlighted by some outstanding performances from top 16 & Under players. Leading the way, Matej Maruscak continued to build on his impressive win streak. It is now over one year since the Slovakian has been beaten, during which time he has amassed six titles. The latest came on Sunday at the Category 2 Talentum Cup in Budapest, Hungary, where the top seed recorded a 6-2 6-4 win over Austria’s David Pichler in the final for his 28th consecutive match victory. Maruscak also won the doubles, teaming with compatriot Matej Selecky for what was surprisingly his first doubles success.

The girls’ final was a battle between two home players, with third seeded wild card Szabina Szlavikovics upsetting Dorottya Jonas for the loss of just three games. Another Hungarian, Bianka Bekefi, took the doubles title, teaming with Jana Jablonovska (SVK) for victory over Swiss pair Chiara Grimm & Nina Stadler.

Qualifier Jakup Oravec (SVK) caused a surprise at the ZLTC Cup, a Category 2 event in Brno (CZE), beating top seeded home hope Pavel Staubert 6-3 6-4 to take the singles title. Oravec had already won the doubles with Tomas Pavlovsky before ending the Czech’s hopes of a third title of the season.

The girls’ events saw Anastasiya Komardina and Anastasiya Rychagova continue to build an extraordinary record in 2011. The pair is still unbeaten in doubles on the circuit this year, having won their fifth title of the season together (and first in the 16&U category). Komardina now has a 25-match unbeaten streak in doubles, stretching back to last September, while Rychagova has amassed 22 consecutive wins. The pair also faced off in the singles final, with Komardina coming out on top, 6-2 7-6(1).

One of the week’s biggest events was staged in Baku, Azerbaijan, where the Pasha Bank Cup held side-to-side 14 and 16 & Under events. Aykhan Manafli kept the home crowds happy by sweeping to the 14 & Under boys’ title without the loss of a set, though he was pushed in a tight final against Anton Pechenkin (RUS), eventually winning 7-5 7-6(2). Pechenkin also featured in the doubles final, where he partnered compatriot Alexander Ovcharov to victory.

Hanna Yedzelkina of Belarus enjoyed a double win in the girls’ event, conceding just two games against Elnara Jhabrailova (RUS) to take the singles, and teaming with Diana Dehterevich for the doubles.

In the 16 & Under event, Bogdan Bobrov reached the final of his fourth consecutive event (though first in this age category), but lost a marathon match to Georgian third seed Shota Meparidze 6-3 3-6 6-4. Daria Lodikova of Russia won her first ever singles title on the Tour, beating home hope Kamilla Farhad 7-6(7) 75. The doubles titles went to Bernardo Lemos (POR) & Christopher Reynolds (GBR) and Alina Semashkova & Madina Vorotnikova (RUS).

14 & Under

The 9th Memorial Giuseppe Cassani, a Category 2 event in Pavia, Italy, proved to be lucrative for French players, who won three of the four titles on offer. Special exempt Luca Bouquet continued his good run of form. Unseeded, despite having won in Zagreb the previous week, Bouquet raced through to his second consecutive final, where he was stopped by compatriot Mandresy Rakotomalala 6-2 6-2. Joseph Guillin & Alexandre Muller had earlier secured the boys’ doubles.

The girls’ final was a battle between the two top seeds, with Victoria Muntean posting an upset to oust Iryna Shymanovic (BLR) and win her second Tennis Europe Junior Tour title. Muntean fell just short of a double victory, falling in straight sets to Italian pair Jessica Pieri & Vera Ploner in the girls doubles final alongside Mirabelle Njoze (GBR).

Gabrielle Taylor of Great Britain won her third title of the season at the Category 2 Cukurova Cup, a 64-draw hard court event in Adana, Turkey. The fifth seed’s path to the title was eased when final opponent Zaineb El Houari (MAR) retired after losing the first set 6-1. Unseeded El Houari had lost just four games to top seed Anna Yakovelva (RUS) in the semi finals. 

The boys title went to Luca Castelnuovo of Switzerland, who beat Sarp Agabigun of Turkey in a final match between the eighth and ninth seeds. Ranked just #687 at the start of the week, Castelnuovo also beat the second and third seeds on his way to a first Tennis Europe Junior Tour title. 

Home players did well in the doubles, with Agabigun and Efekan Bulbul taking the boys’ crown, while Hazal Unlugenc teamed with Yakovelva for the girls title. 

Britain’s Maia Lumsden was the star of the Category 3 Salona Open in Solin, Croatia, where she won both singles and doubles titles. The top seed survived some bruising encounters in the singles, notably a semi final against her doubles partner Jazzi Plews which Lumsden won 6-4 5-7 7-6(5), and then came from behind to beat fourth seed Margita Sunjic (CRO) 6-7(7) 6-1 6-1 in the final. Lumsden had earlier teamed with Plews for victory over compatriots Jasmine Asghar & Alexandra Herd to take the doubles crown.

Another fruitful event for home players was the Category 2 Aaron Krickstein Tournament in Tel Aviv, where Israeli players won three of the four titles. Playing just his fourth Tennis Europe Junior Tour event, unseeded Ram Kapach took the boys title, beating second seed Aleksandre Bakshi (GEO) in straight sets.

The much more experienced Anastasiya Fedoryshyn (UKR) continued her impressive year, winning the title for a second successive week and securing her third title overall with a win over third seed Talya Zandberg (ISR).

Both doubles events went to all-Israeli teams, with Sagi Baranes & Ben Fatael and Valeria Nikolaev & Avital Vaysbuch taking the boys’ and girls’ events respectively.

12 & Under

Last week also saw three 12 & under events staged. The Azores Open in Portugal saw a double triumph for players from the United States, with Alexander Del Corral and Claire Liu taking the singles crowns. Tomas Almeida and Joao Antonio picked up their second title in a fortnight with a doubles win, while the girls’ doubles title match proved to be a monumental battle, with Portuguese pair Marta Magalhaes & Marta Oliviera coming from behind to secure a thrilling 3-6 7-6(9) 19-17 win.

Czech players swept the singles titles at the 64-draw Zentiva Cup event in Rakovnik, with Patrik Rikl and Marketa Vondrousova emerging victorious. Beaten singles finalist Kacper Zuk (POL) teamed with Alexey Zakharov (RUS) for the boys’ doubles, while another Pole, Karolina Szmit, took the girls’ crown, alongside partner Monika Kilnarova (CZE).

The Tbilisi Open in Georgia saw Mikhail Sokolovskiy appearing in his second final in eight days. Despite his good form, the Russian was beaten 7-5 3-6 6-3 by Anatolii Rainin of Ukraine. Rainin also won the doubles, teaming with Aliaksandr Liaonen (BLR). The girls’ final saw Amina Anshba (RUS) outlast Aza Petrova (UKR) 6-2 5-7 6-2, while Russians Natalia Boltinskaya & Alina Mazepova took the doubles crown.

This week a further 11 Tennis Europe Junior Tour events are being held across the three age categories. All the latest draws and results can found here.

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