Photo: Ferran TostSanchez-Casal Junior Cup
The Sanchez-Casal Junior Cup took place last week in Barcelona, Spain at the Academia Sánchez-Casal. Besides the great tennis level, the main thing to highlight during the week was the tremendous sportsmanship among the players, which was really valued by the organization.
On the boys’ side, Ivan Gakhov won the singles title defeating Italian Cristian Carli 62 64, in an exciting match that the audience enjoyed as if it was a match between two professionals. Gakhov, born in Russia but currently living in Spain, is only 15 years old and is showing a top level of tennis, dominating his opponents with his lefty forehand. He also displayed a top physical and mental toughness, coming through the qualifying round, facing numerous hard matches to make it to the finals and to finally win the title. Gakhov also won the doubles title, together with Anatoliy Petrenko, by defeating the Spaniards Jaume Pla and Robert Herrera in a third set tie breaker. Gakhov also defeated Jaume Pla, second seed in the draw, in the singles semifinals in a tough three set match.
In the girls' event, the young Bulgarian Dessislava Zlateva defeated Kateryna Sliusar, from Ukraine. The Ukranian started strong, dominating the first set and a half, but Zlateva was able to turn the match around, winning the second and third set to post a 26 67 75 win. Sliusar could at least raise the girls’ doubles trophy, together with Aliona Bolsova, by defeating the Spaniards Nuria Ormeño and Ariana Martí 62 64 in the final.
Among the audience enjoying the matches were former French Open champion and Spanish Davis Cup captain Albert Costa, and Alberto Berasategui, former world number 7 and wto-time finalist at Roland Garros. Also in attendance was Miko Margets, Spanish Fed Cup captain, and the Presidents of the Spanish Federation and Catalan Federation José Luis Escañuela and Joan Navarro.