Photo: Marcelo RuschelMathias Bourgue (FRA) and Anna Danilina (KAZ)
France's Mathias Bourgue and Kazhakstan's Anna Danilina were crowned singles champions at the 29th Copa Gerdau Grade A event after both notched up straight sets wins on the final day in Porte Alegre, Brazil.
Bourgue defeated Belgian Kimmer Coppejans 63 62 in the boys' final and afterwards told local media that the tournament had special meaning for him because, although he was born in France, his mother is Brazilian. Bourgue speaks Portuguese and also counts Brazilian tennis legend Gustavo Kuerten among his heroes - he was inspired to take up tennis when, as a child, he watched Kuerten play at Roland Garros.
This marked a second Copa Gerdau title for Bourgue, who also won the tournament in 2010 before missing last year's event with a left hip injury. "I feel at home here. really wanted to defend my title last year but I couldn't, so I trained very hard to win this year," he told reporters.
Danilina also won the doubles title with Poland's Zuzanna Maciejewska and in doing so extended an impressive dual winning streak. This is the second week in succession that Danilina has won both singles and doubles titles - she managed the same feat at the Banana Bowl Grade 1 event last week.
"I had good matches this week," said Danilina. For her part, Maia said she was disappointed not to take her home title and become the first Brazilian to lift the trophy since Miriam D'Agostini in 1996 but she vowed to keep trying. "It was an honour to represent Brazil and get as far in the competition. I'll be here next year to try and get the title," she said. "I had a great tournament and I beat player ranked higher than me so overall this week was positive."
In doubles, Danilina and Maciejewska defeated Laura Pigossi (BRA) and Marcela Zacaria of Mexico 76(3) 63. Britons Luke Bambridge and Joshua Ward-Hibbert won the boys' title with a 75 75 win over Pedro Cachin (ARG) and Quentin Halys (FRA).