The Category 1 Kungens Kanna and Drottningen Pris 14 and Under tournament in Stockholm was the focal point of activity this past week. The Swedish capital has played host to this prestigious event for an incredible 117 editions, making it one of the longest running tournaments in the world, where some of this age group’s brightest prospects battle it out with up-and-coming locals. One of those locals is Leo Borg who, with a surname that needs no explanation, had many eyes fixed on his matches.
Britain’s Jack Pinnington Jones has been in fantastic form lately, having recently won the doubles in Bolton, while also advancing to singles the quarterfinals there. In his second appearance here, he was able to take claim his first singles title. In the girls’ singles, Hungarian Amarissa Kiara Toth won the coveted cup.
Looking at the boys draws, Pinnington Jones took out his compatriot and number 11 seed Joel Pierleoni in a tough final 7-6(3) 4-6 7-6(3). The champion described his state after the win over his friend and doubles partner as “really good, very happy and very tired.” Pierleoni had also made fantastic inroads in the tournament. With easy victories over qualifiers and wildcard recipients in his draw, plus two tough three set wins, he claimed his place in his first final. Pinnington Jones however definitely deserved the title, as he was responsible for the defeat of Danish top seed Elmo Moller in straight sets in the semi-finals.
Son of Swedish legend Bjorn, Leo Borg, continued his steady progress this season, making it through to the quarterfinals where he lost to Moller. All in all, it was a good tournament for the Swedish boys as unseeded Michael Minasyan made it to the quarterfinals along with Borg.
In the girls singles, Russian top seed Maria Bondarenko was knocked out in the quarterfinals by Romanian Fatima Ingrid Amartha Keita. She was in turn taken out by Latvian Elena Karner, the eventual finalist. She was unable to offer much resistance in the final, falling 6-2 6-0 to Toth, who had previously defeated Czech third seed Darja Vidmanova and American 15th seed Michelle Tikhonko to progress to the final. Toth, ranked at number 22, will see her ranking rise to the edge of the Top Ten after victory in this event and after having fallen earlier than she would have liked at the Les Petits As tournament.
The doubles draws saw a bevy of Swedish flags. Leo Borg and his partner made it through to the quarterfinals along with two other all-Swedish pairings, one of which advanced to the semi finals. The trophy, however, went to Pinnington Jones & Pierleoni, rivals in the singles final, and winners together in the doubles. They teamed up to defeat Jacobi Bain of the Bahamas and Swede Minasyan 7-5 6-3.
The girls doubles title went to Russians Maria Bondarenko & Milana Zhabrailova, as they made their way through to the finals without having lost a set. In the final, they beat Toth & Tikhonko 6-3 6-4, who despite having lost the final could walk away happy after solid performances in both singles and doubles, especially singles champion Toth. Photo Gallery.
Last week also saw one Category 2 event, the Chambon-sur-Lignon 16 & Under tournament in France. Local players scooped three of the four available titles, with Etienne Donnet beating compatriot Theo Gabbanini for the boys' title, Clement Chauvin & Hugo Jardin taking the boys' doubles, and Flavie Brugnone & Anaelle Leclercq claiming the girls' doubles. Leclercq almost made it a clean sweep for the hosts, but fell at the final hurdle to Germany's Sarah Mueller, who picks up her fourth Tennis Europe Junior Tour title, and first in this age category.
For full results from these tournaments, plus the week's Category 3 events in Rotterdam, the FOCUS Tennis Academy Open [Photos] and Novrus Cup in Baku, click here.