Tennis Europe Junior Tour

Kovackova & Thomas win Super Category Maia titles

Kovackova & Thomas win Super Category Maia titles

Defending champion Alena Kovackova has claimed victory at the Super Category tournament in Maia, Portugal. The Tennis Europe Junior Tour number one player was in devastating form, dismissing all her opponents in straight sets to post a fifth tournament win in 2022. Boys’ number one Flynn Thomas (pictured) won his first title of the year - and what a spectacular way to do it. As with Kovackova, the Swiss player also took home the title by whizzing through the tournament without dropping a set.

With another display of impressive tennis, Kovackova’s calm and quiet demeanor is in stark contrast to her tenacious and ruthless game. In her first four matches her opponents barely got a look-in, and it was clear that the Czech player had her eyes on the prize. Her compatriot Julie Pastikova was able to nab more games than anyone else in the semis, but Kovackova still posted a relatively comfortable win. The final was a mouth-watering prospect between the in-form player on an amazing winning streak and the popular Mouratoglou Academy prodigy Ksenia Efremova. The match did not fail to deliver as the pair went toe-to-toe in the first set. Things did get rough for Kovackova, but she was able to extricate herself from a tricky spot to get the break and the set. The second set was also close, but experience coupled with her cool, calm play saw Kovackova through, as the Race to Monte-Carlo leader proved simply too strong. She now extends her 2022 win/loss record to 30/1, with her only loss coming at Les Petits As back in January. A smiley Kovackova recognised that the final was indeed “a very tough match,” and that she was “very happy to win the tournament.”

Kovackova’s road to the title:

R1: def Yelena Lebeau [Q] (FRA) 6-0 6-2
R2: def Elena Francese (ITA) 6-0 6-2
R3: def Emiliia Kats [13] 6-1 6-1
QF: def Odeta Panasa [10] (LAT) 6-0 6-0
SF: def Julie Pastikova (CZE) 6-2 6-3
F: def Ksenia Efremova  7-5 6-4

Thomas’ path mirrored that of Kovackova, with four easy wins under his belt to put him into the semifinals. Coming up against fifth seed Lenny Petit (FRA), he had his first run-in with adversity but was able to overcome that in a second set tiebreak. In the final against Matei Todoran (ROU), the first set was another close battle, with players in a 5-4 tussle. A double fault by the Romanian was all Thomas needed to sink his claws into the match and run away with it, in what must have been a very sweet 7-5 6-0 victory for a maiden tournament in 2022. Afterwards, Thomas wanted to dedicate his win “to my family and my coach and everyone who supported me this week.” The Swiss player will maintain his position atop the week-to-week ranking as well as seeing his stocks rise in the Race to Monte-Carlo.

Thomas’ road to the title:

R1: def Ferdinand Livet Novkirichka (FRA) 6-3 6-1
R2: def Svit Suljic [WC] (SLO) 6-3 6-4
R3: def Egor Shcherbakov [14]  6-2 6-1
QF: def Marko Dragovic [11] (SRB) 6-1 6-3
SF: def Lenny Petit [5] (FRA) 6-1 7-6
F: def Matei Todoran [13] (ROU) 7-5 6-0

Boys’s doubles final:
Diego Dedura-Palomero (GER) & Niels McDonald (GER) def. Zangar Nurlanuly (KAZ) &  Ziga Sesko (SLO) 1-6 7-5 10-5

Girls’ doubles final:
Tereza Krejkova (CZE) & Julie Pastikova (CZE) def. Eliska Forejtkova (CZE) & Alena Kovackova (CZE) 6-2 7-6(4)

The tournament hosted a session of the Tennis Europe Junior School early in the week, where players learned about a variety of topics crucial to their off court development in their quest to become professional athletes. There was also a flurry of activity throughout the week on social media. With plenty of post-match player interviews on offer online, as well as regular posts,  photos, live streaming and live scoring, fans and followers were not left wanting. Check out content from the tournament on Instagram at @maiacidadedodesporto and @TennisEuropeJuniorTour | 📷 Photo Gallery

In other news from events on the Junior Tour this week:

  • Last year’s 12&U Festival runner-up Luna Vujovic (SLO) reached her second 16&U final in as many weeks, missing out to Noemi Maines (ITA) in Rijeka, Croatia
  • Former 14&U #1 Ognjen Milic (SRB) made his 2021 debut on the circuit, with victory at the 16&U Novi Sad tournament
  • Home players dominated at the combined 12/14&U event in Wrexham (GBR), where Marc Aurele Desmoulins (FRA) was the only non-British player to win a title (Boys 14)
  • William Rejchtman Vinciguerra (SWE) and Adelina Lachinova (LAT) both managed to win singles and doubles at the 16&U Aizkraukle event in Latvia
  • Full list of tournament winners

There are 9 Tour events taking place this week, from Portugal in the west to Turkey in the east. Follow the latest results on the calendar here.

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