Development

ITF/Tennis Europe Development Championships

ITF/Tennis Europe Development Championships

The 2020 ITF/Tennis Europe Development Championships have come to a close after two weeks of competition in Antalya, Turkey. 14 & Under players from 11 of Europe’s emerging tennis nations (Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Georgia, Kosovo, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Turkey) were given high level international playing opportunities in two back-to-back Category 2 Tennis Europe Junior Tour events and the chance to earn spots on the ITF/Tennis Europe Touring Teams later this year.

The Championships were the focal point of a busy fortnight, during which Antalya was a hub of development activities for almost 100 participants, whose travel and accommodation expenses were covered by the ITF & Tennis Europe. Also taking place were a 12 & Under Training Camp followed by a 12 & Under tournament and an ITF Tutors’ Workshop. In addition, the third class of the Tennis Europe Junior School of 2020 was held on the Sunday of the first week, hosted by Tennis Europe CEO Thomas Hammerl. Tennis Europe’s primary off-court initiative for the Tour's players, the Junior School aims to prepare young athletes for their future professional careers.

Week 1

Marko Maksimovic (BIH) was the boys’ champion. He took out top seed Ilie Cazac of Moldova in the semi-finals, before eventually overcoming his compatriot Fatih Sisic in a monumental struggle in the final. The pair battled it out over three arduous sets, with the seventh seed prevailing 7-6(1) 6-7(1) 6-4. In the girls’ draw, Rositsa Dencheva took the title by defeating fellow Bulgarian Yoana Konstantinova 6-4 6-2 in the final.

Honours in the boys’ doubles went to Amar Huseinovikj & Filip Stojanovski of North Macedonia, who got over the line ahead of Maksimovic & Sisic 7-6(4) 5-7 10-6. Dencheva & Konstantinova teamed up to win the girls’ trophy, defeating Anastasija Ignjatic & Asja Salkanovic of Bosnia & Herzegovina 6-0 6-1 in their final.

Week 2

There was little let up in the form of the top players during the second event. Maksimovic cruised past Filip Stojanovski and Haydar Cem Gokpinar (TUR) in his first two matches, before seeing off Montenegro’s Balsa Djokovic in the semi-finals to set up a re-match with Cazac in the boys’ final. The same went for the girls’ finalists, as Dencheva and Konstantinova were set to repeat their week 1 final. In an unfortunate turn of events, neither final was played. Both matches were cancelled due to the current restrictions which are in place due to health concerns over the Coronavirus.

A day earlier the doubles finals were played, however. Maksimovic & Sisic made amends for their week 1 final loss. In a rematch against their North Macedonian opponents, they eventually got revenge with a 6-2 4-6 10-5 victory. Dencheva & Konstantinova completed a double win, nabbing the trophy with a 6-2 6-2 performance against Anghelina Mocanu & Eva Zabolotnaia of Moldova. This gives the Bulgarians the distinction of being the doubles winners as well as singles finalists in both weeks. Similarly, Maksimovic holds the honour of being the only boy to reach all four finals - singles and doubles - in both weeks.

First played in 1996, the Development Championships have given many of today's top players an early chance to train and compete in high-level international events. Previous participants include the likes Grigor Dimitrov, Marcos Baghdatis, Simona Halep, Jelena Ostapenko and Victoria Azarenka.

For full results from Antalya click the events on the right hand side of the page. For an extensive photo gallery, please click here.

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