66 national teams have taken part in the biggest ever edition of the 14 & Under European Summer Cups team competition, with just eight nations advancing from the qualifying rounds to compete at last weekend’s final rounds.
The stakes were high as players battled for their country, for Tennis Europe Junior Tour ranking points, and to secure spots at next month’s ITF World Junior Tennis team event.
14 & UNDER BOYS - Murcia, Spain
Buoyed by a home ground advantage in Murcia, the Spanish team coasted to their third victory in six years, following wins in 2012 and more recently in 2015. The host team came through having not lost a tie, and having conceded just two rubbers, in their Zone D qualifying group. They walked away with the trophy after an even more commanding performance, having won every one of their matches at the final rounds.
The Spanish team, composed of Daniel Rincon, Carlos Alcarez Garfia and Alejandro Correa Linares was commanding throughout the three days. They took out Serbia on the first day 2-0, winning both matches in straight sets. Rincon and Alvarez followed up this win on day two over the Czech Republic by the same scoreline again maintaining a clean sheet.
The Russians were represented by Aristarkh Safonov and Mikhail Gorokhov in the singles, while in the doubles, Safanov played with Robert Korelov. On day one, they saw off Italy, thanks to a 10-5 championship tiebreak win over Luca Nardi and Giorgio Tabacco. Claiming both singles victories over Switzerland on day 2 meant the Russians would face the Spaniards on the last day.
The final was another rout for Spain as they dominated the Russians, again without dropping a set. Rincon defeated Safanov 6-4 6-1, while Alcarez took out Gorokhov 7-5 6-2. This is now Spain’s fifth title overall in this event since its inception in 1979.
The Czech Republic beat Switzerland 2/0 to claim the bronze medals.
Full Results | Photo Gallery
14 & UNDER GIRLS - San Remo, Italy
The Ukrainian girls’ team was able to successfully defend their title, with solid performances from its team. Currently ranked number 55 on the 14 & Under rankings, Dasha Lopatetskaya was instrumental for Ukraine as she remained undefeated over the weekend to secure the rare feat of playing on a victorious Summer Cups team in two consecutive years.
The team started well with a 3-0 win over Slovakia on Friday. This was backed up by a 2-1 win against Russia on day two. In-form number 4 ranked Russian Maria Timofeeva got the better of Lyubov Kostenko in straight sets. In the doubles, Lopatetskaya’s partner from the victory over Slovakia, Anastasiya Konstantinova Soboleva, was replaced by Kostenko as they sealed the win for Ukraine.
In the final, the Ukrainians ran into the French team who had come off the back of some impressive results. They, like Ukraine, started off strong with a 3-0 win over Bulgaria, followed by a 2-1 victory against the Czech Republic, with Elsa Jacquemot winning her singles and teaming with Anaelle Leclercq to win the doubles and send France into the decider against Ukraine.
It was to be the Ukrainians’ day as straight sets singles victories went to both Lopatetskaya and Kostenko over Jacquemot and Leclercq respectively. Some pride was salvaged as the French girls took out the doubles rubber in a tight 11-9 championship tiebreak decider. This produced a 2-1 victory for Ukraine, their second in as many years and their fourth overall, adding to other wins in 2014 and 2009.
Russia later beat the Czech Republic 2/1 to claim the bronze medals.
The 14 & Under Summer Cups also serves as the qualifying event for the ITF World Junior Tennis team competition, which will be held in Prostejov (CZE) from 7-12 August. The top 5 boys’ and girls’ teams (plus the Czech Republic, as hosts) will qualify for the tournament.
Full Results | Photo Gallery
||Boys 14 & Under
||Girls 14 & Under