Shooting stars Ksenia Efremova (RUS) and Zangar Nurlanuly (KAZ) have won the 37th TIM Essonne Category One event. They took the title in Sainte-Geneviève-des-Bois, France, after coming through to beat Timeo Trufelli (FRA) and Marta Mariia Makarova (RUS) respectively in the finals.
Through to round two as the number one seed, the Khazak met tough resistance in his first two matches, surviving his third-round match in three gruelling sets over local player Lenny Couturier. He then made a quick turnaround, breezing past in-form Savva Rybkin (RUS) before putting an end to the fairytale story of the tournament. Lebanese qualifier Daniel Jade had blitzed his way through qualies and the main draw, taking out ninth seed Valentin Gonzalez-Galino (ESP) on his semi-final run before succumbing to the eventual champion.
Nurlanuly’s final win came at the expense of another local, number 12 seed Trufelli. The French boy looked the better player in the early stages, taking the first set 7-5, but the top seed regrouped to storm back, taking the next two sets and the trophy 6-1 6-1. All in all, it was also a great tournament for Trufelli, as he was also on the podium in the doubles, finishing as runner-up on a second occasion. Having won three Category 3 events last year, Nurlanuly is celebrating his biggest ever Junior Tour title and consolidates his position in the Top 5.
Mouratoglou Academy protegée Efremova came into the tournament as a wildcard entry. Her ranking of 188 belies her talent, which was demonstrated by her two swift victories in her opening matches. From round three onwards she had to knuckle down, fighting it out with Eleejah Inisan (FRA) for an extremely tough three set win to book her spot in the quarters. She then dispatched two qualifiers to find herself in the final where she would meet compatriot and doubles partner Makarova. The seventh seed started strongly, with both players trading blows and refusing to give an inch. Efremova eventually took it in a tiebreaker and raced away with the second set to secure a 7-6(5) 6-1 win. This is her sixth Junior Tour singles title and first ever Category One win at a 14 & Under singles event. Look out for her in this week’s Race to Monte-Carlo update.
Boys’ doubles champions: Tito Chavez (ECU) & Eudald Gonzalez (ESP)
Girls’ doubles champions: Ksenia Efremova (RUS) & Marta Mariia Makarova (RUS)
Category 2 - GOLDEN JERUSALEM TROPHY
In an all-Czech boys’ final in Israel, second seeded Filip Ladman got the better of top seed Jakub Smejcky 6-0 6-3. Another title came for the Czech Republic in the girls’ singles where top seed Sofie Hettlerova beat #2 Anna Raisa Coman (ROU) without the loss of a game in the final to add the singles title to her doubles win.
Boys’ doubles champions: Ilay Haim (ISR) & Itamar Verthaimer (ISR)
Girls’ doubles champions: Sofie Hettlerova (CZE) & Shachar Schwartz (ISR)
Also taking place in Week 8 were Category 3 events in the Netherlands (Photo Gallery), Poland and Ireland. Check out the full list of last week's champions at: https://www.tenniseurope.org/page/35674/Tennis-Europe-Junior-Tour-Winners
In Week 9, the Tour calls in on Austria, Germany, Poland, the Netherlands and Turkey. Keep up with all results here.