12 Aug 2017

Switzerland and USA triumph in Prostejov

News Article

Photo: Srdjan StevanovicThe teams from (back) Ukraine, USA, Russia; (front) Spain, Switzerland, Japan.

Switzerland boys’ and USA girls’ teams won the titles at the ITF World Junior Tennis Finals on Saturday after they came through decisive doubles rubbers against Spain and Ukraine to lift the trophies in Prostejov.

It is the first time in the history of the competition that Switzerland has won the ITF World Junior Tennis Finals title and the trio of Jerome Kym, Yarin Aebi and Till Brunner did it in style, overcoming the No. 3 seeds and reigning Winter and Summer Cups champions Spain in the final in an exciting doubles rubber.

“It feels amazing to have won this competition, I have no words to describe it,” said Swiss No. 1 player Jerome Kym. “The effort that we had in the doubles, right from the first point, that was the key. We pushed each other so much throughout the match and it really made the difference."

With Aebi having narrowly lost his singles 46 63 64 against Daniel Rincon Yague, Kym took to the court for his singles rubber knowing that he had to win if Switzerland were to stay alive in the competition.

His powerful serve and strong forehand worked well against Carlos Alcarez Garfia, a player who is just one place above him in the Tennis Europe ranking, and although he missed a chance to serve it out at 5-4 in the second set, he didn’t waste his second opportunity and sealed a 64 76(4) victory. 

Aebi and Kym then played some excellent tennis in the doubles, with one highlight being Kym’s round the net forehand winner in the second set, to defeat the Spanish pairing of Alcarez Garfia and Rincon Yague 64 63.

"Although we were unseeded, I knew we had a strong team and I was really excited for this competition,” said Swiss captain Michael Lammer. “We got more and more confident throughout the week and played our best tennis in the semifinals and final, which is what you want. To play the final in this competition is really special and I’m so happy for the boys that they got this win.” 

USA, who lost the crucial doubles to Ukraine in last year’s final, didn’t let history repeat itself as they produced a clinical display in the doubles to defeat the reigning champions 62 64 and win the girls’ title for the first time since 2013.

Cori Gauff was the star of the USA team all week and it was no different in the final. The talented 13-year-old from Florida prevailed over Dasha Lopatetskaya 64 60 in the second singles to level the final at 1-1 before combining with Charlotte Owensby to secure the doubles win. 

Gauff’s powerful forehand and quick movement around the court was too much for Lopatetskaya, the highest ranked girl in the competition, who looked to be feeling the effects of a packed summer schedule which has seen her win the titles at ITF Junior Circuit events in Ukraine and Denmark and be crowned under 14 European Junior Champion.

“I was trying not to play nervously as I knew I wouldn’t be at my best if I did that, I just pretended it was a practice match and all the pressure wasn’t there,” said Gauff.

Earlier, Lyubov Kostenko had played some smart tennis in her 63 63 victory over Gabriella Price to give the Ukrainians an early lead. The 14-year-old from Kharkiv, who cites clay as her favourite surface, varied her shots and played some well-constructed points on her way to her to 10th victory of the week.

“I knew Ukraine would fight and battle and they did,” said USA captain Maureen Diaz. “It’s been a long couple of weeks and we all know each other so well now but it’s amazing to see the girls achieve this accomplishment, I’m just so proud of them.” 

Russia defeated Czech Republic 2-1 in the girls' bronze medal match while Japan took third place in the boys’ competition after overcoming China 2-1.

All the results and final placings can be found here:
Boys' results
Girls' results