Poland’s girls’ team claimed its first ever Tennis Europe Winter Cups by HEAD title with an impressive win over top seeds and defending champions Russia in the final of the 2015 competition in Rakovnik (CZE).
Maja Chwalinska gave the Poles an ideal start, overcoming a rankings deficit of 13 places to upset Russian #2 Kamilla Rakhimova 7-5 6-1. Both teams fielded their top player for the next match, which would be a battle between two of Europe’s Top 10 players, despite Europe's #1 player Anastasia Potapova of Russia being sidelined. Polina Krupchenko (RUS) and Iga Swiatek (POL) have each posted strong results during the early weeks of the season, reaching the quarter and semi-finals respectively at Les Petits As in Tarbes a fortnight ago, but Swiatek was in command throughout their match, breaking at will to record a 6-2 6-2 win and cap a memorable win for her national team.
Krupchenko & Rakhimova very nearly scored a consolation point for the Russians in the doubles, but Chwalinska and Stefania Rogozinska Dzik came back from the brink of defeat to complete a 3/0 win 1-6 7-5 6-3.
Poland’s first 14 & Under Winter Cups title came for the loss of just one match – a dead doubles against Italy in the quarterfinals – and saw them beat teams from Netherlands, Slovakia, Sweden, Italy, Turkey and Russia.
Poland’s only other previous appearance in the final of this age category came in 2006, when the Pliskova twins of the Czech Republic put an end to their hopes with a 3/0 win. On this occasion, the Czechs just failed to win a medal, with the hosts falling 2/0 to Turkey in the third-place play-off match.
In Correggio, Italy, Russia’s boys’ team went one better than their female counterparts by claiming the title for a second time in three years.
Russia had been taken to a deciding doubles in three of their four matches in the tournament but on this occasion the tie was over after the singles matches, with Danil Spasibo and Timofey Skatov each needing just 65 minutes to dispatch of Baptiste Anselmo and Raphael Bonnet Flores respectively.
Bonnet Flores teamed up with Adrien Gobat to beat Spasibo & Rail Ibragimov and earn a point in the doubles, but it was too late to prevent the 2014 finalists from lifting the trophy for a third time in the history of the competition.
Great Britain secured the bronze medal with a 3/0 win over Germany. Britain’s semi-final with Russia had seen a battle between Europe’s top two players, with Jack Draper (GBR) outlasting Skatov 2-6 7-6(2) 6-1 in a two-hour match that was a highlight of the weekend.
Draws and Results
Boys (Correggio, Italy): Draw | Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Photos
Girls (Rakovnik, Czech Republic): Draw | Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Photos