The Tennis Europe Junior Tour’s elite players brought the season to an end in style at the Junior Masters recently. The event, which was staged on clay courts in Reggio Calabria, Italy, from 7 – 9 October, is open to the top 6-ranked European players according to the final Race to the Masters rankings, as well as the European Junior Champions and finalists.
Alexander Zverev of Germany scored arguably the most impressive win of the weekend to take the Boys 14 & Under title, his third tournament win of the season. To do so, he ended top seed Bogdan Borza’s hopes of becoming the first player ever to win the European Championships in singles, doubles, as part of a team and the Tennis Europe Junior Masters in the same season. The 6-4 6-4 semi final win was all the more impressive as Borza had won their only previous meeting this year – in the semi finals of the European Championships in Pilzen – for the loss of just four games.
Zverev’s opponent in the final was Borza’s Romanian Summer Cups team-mate Nicolae Frunza, who had caused his own upset to beat Russia’s Andrey Rublev in his semifinal. Despite a tough battle in the second set, Zverev held on for a 6-3 7-6(3) win that meant he would go down in history as the first German player ever to win a Masters title.
The 14 & Under girls’ event saw Switzerland’s Belinda Bencic claim an incredible 15th Tennis Europe Junior Tour title, brushing to a 6-3 6-1 win over Anastasiya Rychagova of Russia. Rychagova had earlier ended the hopes of top seed Iryna Shymanovic (BLR) in the match of the tournament, a thrilling 6-0 2-6 7-6(7) semi final.
It has been an interesting season for Bencic, who in addition to her runner-up spot at the European Junior Championships, has also won her first matches on the professional circuit and reached a final on the ITF 18 & Under circuit.
The top two seeds, Alexander Lebedyn (UKR) and Matej Maruscak (SVK) emerged to face each other for the 16 & Under boys’ title. Both players had accumulated four singles titles already this season but it was the Slovak who came out on top, easing to a 6-2 6-4 victory to end the season with an impressive 36-2 win/loss record. Maruscak also climbs to a career-high of fourth in Europe, two spots behind his opponent.
The 16 & Under girls’ event saw Ana Konjuh take another step up. Ranked as the #1 14 & under player since becoming the first Croatian girl to win the European Junior Championships in July, she opted to play the higher age category at the Masters and became the first Croatian girl to win the Masters title since Jelena Pandzic won the first edition in 1996.
In the semi finals, she levelled her head-to-head record with Jelena Ostapenko (LAT) at two wins apiece, coming from a set down to win 2-6 6-2 6-1. Her final victory over top seed Ioana Rosca of Romania was more straightforward, winning 6-3 6-2 to complete the last of the finals just before the arrival of heavy rains that forced the cancellation of several play-off matches.
Former champions of the Junior Masters include Rafael Nadal and Kim Clijsters. Full results can be found below.
14 & Under Boys
(1) Bogdan Borza (ROU) d. Kenneth Raisma (EST) 7-6(4) 6-4
Alexander Zverev (GER) d. Alex Molcan (SVK) 6-1 6-1
Nicolae Frunza (ROU) d. Michal Dembek (POL) 6-3 6-1
(2) Andrey Rublev (RUS) d. Domagoj Biljesko (CRO) 6-1 7-6(1)
Alexander Zverev (GER) d. (1) Bogdan Borza (ROU) 6-4 6-4
Nicolae Frunza (ROU) d. (2) Andrey Rublev (RUS) 7-5 6-2
Alexander Zverev (GER) d. Nicolae Frunza (ROU) 6-3 7-6(3)
14 & Under Girls
(1) Iryna Shymanovic (BLR) d. Katarina Jokic (BIH) 6-3 4-6 6-2
Anastasiya Rychagova (RUS) d. Olga Fridman (UKR) 6-3 6-1
Belinda Bencic (SUI) d. Aleksandra Pospelova (RUS) 6-0 6-1
(2) Anastasiya Komardina (RUS) d. Manca Pislak (SLO) 6-1 6-2
Anastasiya Rychagova (RUS) d. (1) Iryna Shymanovic (BLR) 6-0 2-6 7-6(7)
Belinda Bencic (SUI) d. (2) Anastasiya Komardina (RUS) 7-6(6) 7-6(5)
Belinda Bencic (SUI) d. Anastasiya Rychagova (RUS) 6-3 6-1
16 & Under Boys
(1) Alexander Lebedyn (UKR) d. Robin Lang (GER) 6-3 6-0
David Pichler (AUT) d. Mantas Bugailiskis (LTU) 6-2 3-4 6-4
Vasilios Stavropoulos (GRE) d. Paul Rares Andriuc (ROU) 6-4 6-3
(2) Matej Maruscak (SVK) d. Shakeel Manji (GBR) 6-3 6-3
(1) Alexander Lebedyn (UKR) d. David Pichler (AUT) 6-0 6-4
(2) Matej Maruscak (SVK) d. Vasilios Stavropoulos (GRE) 6-3 6-0
(2) Matej Maruscak (SVK) d. (1) Alexander Lebedyn (UKR) 6-2 6-4
16 & Under Girls
(1) Ioana Loredana Rosca (ROU) vs. Anastasia Nefedova (RUS) 7-6(1) 6-3
Sara Sorribes Tormo (ESP) d. Jana Jablonovska (SVK) 6-4 6-2
Jelena Ostapenko (LAT) d. Anastasiya Zablotskaya (BLR) 7-5 7-6(2)
(2) Ana Konjuh (CRO) d. Nicoleta-Catalina Dascalu (ROU) 6-1 6-4
(1) Ioana Loredana Rosca (ROU) d. Sara Sorribes Tormo (ESP) 6-3 6-2
(2) Ana Konjuh (CRO) d. Jelena Ostapenko (LAT) 2-6 6-2 6-1
(2) Ana Konjuh (CRO) d. (1) Ioana Loredana Rosca (ROU) 6-3 6-2