Tennis Europe Junior Tour
Djuric and Costoulas win in Piestany
20 May 2018 - Photo: © maliigraci.rs
Another busy week on the Tennis Europe Junior Tour was highlighted by the 25th anniversary of the Category 1 event in Piestany (SVK), and saw a total of 9 events taking place, from Cyprus to Sweden.
25th Piestany Cup - Piestany, Slovakia (14 & Under)
Branko Djuric of Serbia and Sofia Costoulas of Belgium have lifted the trophies at the Category 1 Piestany Cup in Slovakia (pictured). The tournament was basking in sunlight on a splendid finals day, apt for an event celebrating its 25th anniversary. The boys’ champion upset top seeded Cypriot Constantinos Koshis in a close two-set final, while the Belgian overcame Ukrainian eleventh seed Sabina Zeynalova in another tight match. Both champions have now claimed their second titles this year from as many finals appearances.
Having posted some amazing results so far in 2018, winning two 16 & Under titles, Koshis coasted into the finals with easy wins, with the exception of a tight 7-5 7-5 quarterfinal victory over Czech Oldrich Vejsicky. His opponent had somewhat more of a rollercoaster ride to the title showdown. With easy wins in the first three rounds, including one retirement near the end of the match, Djuric’s quarter final opponent, Bartol Borse (CRO), also retired after just three games played. Then Peter Privara (SVK) threw everything at the Serb, who eventually took the match 5-7 6-3 12-10. There was very little in it when it came to the final, with just one break deciding the match, which went to the Serb, 6-3 7-5.
Costoulas upset top seeded Czech Barbora Palickova, in the quarterfinals en route to her win. Her opponent had also captured a prized scalp in the quarters, taking out second seed Aliona Falei (BLR) in a 13-11 championship tiebreak. The final was a close affair, which eventually went the way of the Belgian 7-5 6-3.
Employing a short sets format, the boys’ doubles final went to top seeded Croatians Mili Poljicak & Dino Prizmic, with a 4-2 4-1 win over Peter Nad & Maxim Novak of Slovakia. The girls’ doubles was an all-Czech affair. The trophy went to sixth seeds Adriana Berankova & Vanesa Sulcova, who beat Lucie Havlickova & Katrin Pavkova for the loss of just one game.
Bergant Memorial - Maribor, Slovenia (14/16 & Under)
One of the oldest events on the Tennis Europe Junior Tour calendar, the Bergant Memorial once again attracted a strong international draw across both age categories. Stefan Popovic (SRB) and Peter Nesterov (BUL) featured in both 16 & Under finals. The Serb defeated his friend 6-4 6-2 in the final. The two had played together the day before to win the doubles final over Slovenians Sebastian Dominko & Gal Emersic Potocnik 4-6 6-2 10-7. This is Popovic’s breakthrough win in either event this year, after several runner-up and semi-finalist placings.
Marijana Majetic is going from strength to strength in 2018. After a win in the 14&U Mladost Grill Open earlier in the year and a semi-final berth at last week’s Grawe Open, the Croatian has won her first 16&U event. In the final she defeated Russian third seed Marta Belokrylova 7-6(4) 6-2. In the doubles, victory went to the Serbian pairing of Andjela Lopicic & Natalija Senic, with a 3-6 6-2 11-9 win over Mia Chudejova (SVK) & Anna Panchartek (CZE).
In the 14 & Under category it was a great week for Swiss players, with representatives in all four finals and victories in three. Till Brunner defeated compatriot Raffaele Mariani in the boys’ final in a walkover - the third seed withdrew after his arduous defeat of top seed Bor Atnak (SLO) in the semi-finals. The Swiss pair, however, played together in the doubles as top seeds, only to fall at the final hurdle to Belgians Idriss Haddouch & Noah Merre 7-6(5) 6-2.
After disposing of the top seed Anna Panchartek (CZE) in the semi-finals, Chelsea Fontenel defeated Petja Drame (SLO) 6-1 5-7 6-4 to take home the title. She also took the doubles trophy back to Switzerland with compatriot Karolina Kozakova, after they outdid Drame and Tea Lukic (GER) 7-5 6-1 in the final.
Children’s Day Cup - Chisinau, Moldova (14 & Under)
Top seeded Russian Ksenia Agureeva was a force to be reckoned with at this event. Dominating both singles and doubles from the outset, the Russian imposed herself by winning both events as the top seed. After a second set lull in the semi-final, she won the singles final over unseeded Romanian Mara Gae 6-4 6-1. In the doubles, Agureeva took the title with Pole Zuzanna Bednarz in a 10-7 championship tie break win over second seeds Sofiia Chernomorska (UKR) & Vlada Haetcaia (MDA).
Spoils in the boys’ singles went to unseeded Romanian Florentin-Alexandru Scarlat. He defeated Kilian Feldbausch (SUI) in a 7-6(4) 1-6 6-4 final, having earlier toppled #1 seeded Ivan Kremenchutskyi (UKR) in a straight-set semi. There was some redemption for the Ukrainian, however, as he picked up the doubles title with compatriot Daniil Soboliev. They also needed a championship tie break to defeat Feldbausch and Borjan Jovanov (MKD).
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It was clash of continents as players from China dominated in the boys’ events, while locals took out the titles in the girls’ events. Eighth seed He Ziheng defeated compatriot Jiang Yunhan in the boys’ final 6-4 1-6 6-0. In an all-Chinese doubles final, the two players met again, with Yunhan again on the receiving end. Ziheng & Qing Lihao defeated Yunhan & Liu Le 6-4 7-6(3). One of the standout Tennis Europe Junior Tour players in this first half of the season, Ziheng was playing in his fifth event and has now amassed three doubles and two singles titles.
Andrea Obradovic, the fifth seed, was too strong for Anja Petkovic in their singles final, seeing off her compatriot 7-6(5) 6-0. In the doubles, Lola Radivojevic & Emilija Zdravkovic made light work of their Hungarian opponents Jazmin Rebeka Beer & Luca Udvardy 6-1 6-2 to win the title.