Turkish players dominated this year’s ITF/Tennis Europe 14 & Under Development Championships, which took place in Antalya, Turkey from 13 - 23 March. The event, which was hosted by the Turkish Tennis Federation, attracted players from 18 countries and comprised of a one-day training camp followed by two consecutive Category 2 tournaments with a day off in between the two events.
Top seed Ergi Kirkin (TUR, pictured) won both the boys’ singles titles, defeating his compatriot and Winter Cups team-mate Kaya Gore in the final of the first tournament, winning 6-1 2-6 7-6(5) after a titanic battle. Kirkin and Gore teamed up to win the first boys’ doubles event against the Belarusian pair of Artsiom Ausiyevich and Aliaksandr Liaonenka 4-6 6-3 [10-3]. The following week saw the same teams in the finals once again, with the Turks winning another close contest 3-6 6-1 [10-3].
Kirkin has won four doubles and three singles titles since the beginning of the year, and looks set to claim the #1 spot in the Race to the Tennis Europe Junior Masters rankings later this week.
In the first event of the girls’ competition, Inci Ogut secured a Turkish sweep by beating second seed Oleksandra Andieieva of Ukraine in the final, 6-1 7-5. Oleksandra also reached the final of the second event, but just failed to go unbeaten in Antalya when she suffered a loss to Oiza Omirou of Cyprus. Omirou claimed her first Tennis Europe Junior Tour title with a 7-5 6-1 victory in the final. Oiza also excelled in the doubles events, teaming up with compatriot India Shiaelis to win both weeks’ competitions. In the first event, they beat Belarusians Nika Shytskouskaya & Katsyarina Yemelyanenka 6-2 6-4 in the final, while in the second event they scored a decisive win over Turkish pair Ogut and Defne Olcay, 6-3 6-1.
ITF/Tennis Europe Development Officer Hrvoje Zmajic was in attendance at the event, and commented; “Thanks to the ITF/Tennis Europe Development Programme, these Championships have once again helped players from a number of our smaller nations to compete against high quality opposition. The facilities here in Antalya are first class and with ten matches over ten days, all of the players and coaches have been able to make the most of the opportunity to work on their games and gain valuable international experience.”
A number of today’s top professionals, including Victoria Azarenka and Marcos Baghdatis have benefitted from playing the event in the past. Full draws and results from the tournaments can be found by clicking the links on the right.