The final day of the Tennis Europe Junior Masters will have a distinctively Balkan flavour, with five of the eight finalists hailing from countries on the peninsula.
There will be an all-Croatian final in the girls 16 & under event after the top two seeds, Tara Wurth and Antonia Ruzic, both won in straight sets. Wurth was first to book her place in Sunday’s decider with a 6-4 7-5 win over Czech Anna Panchartek. “It was really tough, she played very well. I’m happy that I won, and I will give my best in the final,” she said.
Ruzic breezed past Lithuania’s Klaudija Bubelyte to seal her spot. It will be the second time that the two players have contested a Tennis Europe Junior Tour final, having previously met in the championship match in Ptuj (SLO) last year. Wurth was the victor on that occasion.
Petr Nesterov of Bulgaria scored his first win in three matches over friend and top seed Stefan Popovic of Serbia to reach the boys’ 16 & Under final. “I’m very happy to reach the finals in my first appearance at this tournament. It’s a great event with nice people and friends and I look forward to playing the final,” said Nesterov.
He next faces unseeded Latvian Daniel Linkuns-Morozovs, who fought back from the loss of the first set to beat Petar Teodorovic of Serbia in the day’s final match on centre court. “In the first set I made some wrong decisions, but by the end I was dictating, and I’m pretty happy,” he said.
14 & Under
In the girls’ 14 & under event, Fatma Idrizovic of Serbia beat Aliona Falei of Belarus 6-3 6-2 in a battle between the first and third seeds. There was further misfortune for Belarus in the second semi-final, as Evialina Laskevich lost out to second seed Katerina Dimitrova (pictured) 6-3 6-4.
The Bulgarian, who plays double-handed on both wings, was excited to reach the final, commenting, “In the second set she came back from 2-5 to 4-5 so I had to be very, very focused but I took this crucial game, and I’m very happy to be in the final of this amazing tournament!”
Third seed Konstantin Zhzhenov of Russia booked his spot in the boys’ final with a battling win over Czech Matthew William Donald. “I started really well and won the first set with no problems,” he said. “In the second I was leading 3-1 and serving but my opponent started to play so good and won four games in a row. I am happy that I was able to come back.”
He next plays Hynek Barton of the Czech Republic, who surprised top seeded Croat Mili Poljicak 7-6(6) 6-2 in the day’s last match to be completed. The two finalists have met just once before, with Zhzhenov winning a close three-set match at Les Petits As earlier this year.
Sunday’s final matches will be streamed live on the Calabria Tennis Facebook page. Play gets under way at 9.45am.
Draws & Results
Boys 14 & Under | Girls 14 & Under
Boys 16 & Under | Girls 16 & Under
Order of Play | Photo Gallery