Turkish players dominated this year’s ITF/Tennis Europe 14 & Under Development Championships which took place in Antalya, Turkey on 13 - 23 March. The event, which was hosted by the Turkish Tennis Federation, attracted players from 18 countries and comprised a one-day training camp followed by two Category 2 tournaments with a day off in between the two events.
Top seed Ergi Kirkin (TUR) won both the boys’ singles titles defeating his compatriot Kaya Gore in the final of the first tournament 61 26 76(7). Kirkin and Gore went on to win the first boys’ doubles against the Belarus pair of Artsiom Ausiyevich and Aliaksandr Liaonenka 46 6-3 [10-3]. The following week saw the same teams in the finals with the Turks victorious again with a 36 61[10-3] win.
In the first event of the girls competition Inci Ogut (TUR) defeated second seed Oleksandra Andrieieva (BLR) in the finals 61 75. Oleksandra also reached the final of the second event where she went down to Eliza Omirou (CYP) 75 61. Eliza teamed up with her compatriot India Shiaelis to win both doubles competitions beating the Belarus pairing of Nina Shytkovskaya and Katsiaryna Yemelyanenka 62 64 in the first tournament and the home players Inci Ogut and Defne Olcay 63 61 in the second.
ITF/Tennis Europe Development Officer Hrvoje Zmajic commented: “Thanks to the ITF/Tennis Europe Development Programme, the Development Championships have once again helped a number of our smaller nations to compete in this high quality tournament. The facilities here in Antalya are first class and with ten matches over ten days, all players and coaches were able to make the most of the opportunity to work on their games and gain international experience.”
A number of today’s top professionals, including Victoria Azarenka and Marcos Baghdatis have benefitted from playing the event in the past.