The semi-finals are set at the Tennis Europe Junior Masters in Reggio Calabria after an intense opening day of competition.
Three of the four girls’ 16 & under seeds advanced, led by #1 Tara Wurth. The Croatian opened the day’s play on centre court with a 6-4 7-5 win over Patricija Spaka, who had won their only previous meeting at the European Junior Championships earlier this year. Wurth will next play Czech Anna Panchartek, who posted the only upset with a 5-7 6-0 7-5 win over third seed Nikol Palecek (SRB).
The second semi-final will see fourth seed Klaudija Bubelyte of Lithuania take on #2 Antonia Ruzic of Croatia after the pair beat Marta Belokrylova (RUS) and Darja Suvirdjonkova (SRB) respectively in straight sets.
Boys 16 & Under top seed Stefan Popovic survived arguably the toughest match of the day, as the Serb was stretched to a final set tie break before overcoming Drazen Petrovic (BIH) 6-1 5-7 7-6(4). He’ll play third seed Petr Nesterov in tomorrow’s semi-finals, after the Bulgarian ended the hopes of Ondrej Horak (CZE) in straight sets.
There were two upsets in the lower half of the draw, as Daniel Linkuns-Morozovs of Latvia (pictured) came back from a set down to beat fourth seed Daniel Siniakov (CZE) 3-6 6-4 6-4 and Petar Teodorovic became the second Serb into the semi-finals by brushing past second seeded Ukrainian Viacheslav Bielinskyi 6-3 6-2.
14 & Under
European Junior Championship runner-up Mili Poljicak of Croatia began his quest for a Masters title in style with a 6-3 6-1 win over home hope Niccola Ciavarella. His next opponent will be Czech Hynek Barton, who outlasted Filip Pieczonka of Poland 2-6 6-4 7-6 in the day’s longest match.
The second and third seeds will face off in the lower part of the draw. #2 Matthew William Donald posted an impressive win over Kalin Ivanovski (MKD) in which the Czech lost just five games. Konstantin Zhzhenov of Russia was made to work a little harder by Olaf Pieczkowski of Poland but finished strongly to secure a 2-6 6-3 6-0 victory.
Top seed Fatma Idrizovic of Serbia ended hopes of a home champion with a 6-4 6-3 win over Giorgia Pedone of Italy. Second seed Katerina Dimitrova produced a remarkable comeback in her match against Aleksandra Simeva. Having lost the first set 0-6, the Bulgarian lost just one more game in each of the remaining sets to seal her semi-final place.
Both top seeds will face Belarusian opposition on Saturday. Aliona Falei survived a tough opening set to oust Celine Naef of Switzerland 7-6(2) 6-4, while Evialina Laskevich recovered from a set down to beat Ukraine’s Sabina Zeynalova in three sets.
The Tennis Europe Junior Masters is the season ending competition for the elite players of the Tennis Europe Junior Tour. The Top 6 players in each age category of the Race to Masters rankings qualify alongside the European Junior Championship gold and silver medallists. Former winners of the tournament include players such as Rafael Nadal, Alexander Zverev and Kim Clijsters.
For full results from Friday and Saturday’s semi-final schedule, click here.