09 Aug 2017

Hosts Czech Republic through to quarterfinals

News Article

Photo: Srdjan StevanovicDarja Vidmanova (CZE)

Czech Republic gave the local crowd something to cheer about on the final day of group action at the ITF World Junior Tennis Finals in Prostejov when their girls’ team defeated Australia 3-0 to finish at the top of group B and advance to the quarterfinals.

“It’s really good to win at home with the fans watching and clapping, it was really cool,” said Czech Republic’s No. 1 player Darja Vidmanova. “We’ve had some really tough matches this week but luckily our best has been enough to win.”

The hosts will face China, who finished second in a very competitive group D, in the quarterfinals on Thursday, with group B runner-up Australia set to play group D winners USA. 

The USA girls' team topped their group after defeating France 2-1 in a tough final group match on Wednesday. 

Elsa Jacquemot started off the day well for France, withstanding a fightback from Gabriella Price to win the opening rubber in hot conditions.

The 14-year-old from Lyon was leading 61 5-2 before a change of tactics from the American saw her battle back and force a tiebreak. Jacquemot refound her form however and played some impressive points in the tiebreak to seal a straight sets victory in two hours eight minutes. 

“They were having 20 ball rallies and at 2-1 the match was already at 45 minutes so I knew it was going to be a tough one for Gaby; both girls were exhausted after the first set,” said USA captain Maureen Diaz.

Rising star Cori Gauff, who has been unbeaten in singles all week, needed just 69 minutes to defeat Flavie Brugnone and keep USA in the tie. Gauff then paired up with Charlotte Owensby to get USA’s first doubles win of the week and secure their quarterfinal spot.

“We knew it was a must win against France so the girls were a little nervous but I told them they had to play to win and they couldn’t play scared,” continued Diaz. “They executed what I asked them to and they didn’t give any free points away so I was really happy with them." 

USA boys’ took their place in the quarterfinals after they recorded their third win of the week against Italy. The top seeds will face a tricky last eight encounter against No. 3 seeds Spain.

Brazil provided a shock in the boys’ event when they defeated No. 2 seeds China in the decisive doubles rubber. The Brazilian pairing of Pedro Boscardin Dias and Joao Vitor Loureiro proved too much for Wang Xiao Fei and Zheng Boren, triumphing 76(4) 63 to ensure they finished first in group D.

“We had a lot of energy in the doubles and I think that made the difference. We work a lot on doubles, I’ve been here before so I know how important the doubles is, and every match and every day we try to get better,” said Brazilian captain Mario Mendonca.

The South American team will face Switzerland, one of two unseeded nations to reach the last eight in the boys’ competition, on Thursday with a place in the semifinals at stake.

“I’m very pleased we got through, it’s always the goal in the group stage to pass the group,” said Swiss captain Michael Lammer, whose team tasted their first defeat of the week when they lost 2-1 to Russia on Wednesday. “It’s nice to play a South American team. We don’t know them very well but obviously they are a strong team and it’s going to be exciting.”

Russia have progressed to the quarterfinals in both the boys’ and girls’ events and look particularly formidable in the girls’ competition having not lost a rubber all week.

The No. 3 seeds, whose players all feature in the top 10 of the Tennis Europe ranking, saw off Peru, Morocco and Thailand for the loss of just two sets in the group stages and will now face Korea in the last eight.

The Russian boys’ team will take on No. 2 seeds China in the quarterfinals while No. 7 seeds Japan will face Italy.

Girls’ top seeds Ukraine lost their first rubber of the week when their top player Dasha Lopatetskaya was beaten in straight sets by Yeon Woo Ku of Korea. Their 8-1 win-loss record in the group is still enough to see them through to the knockout stages where their first opponents will be Peru.