Photo: Francesco PanunzioDaria Kasatkina (RUS)
MILAN, ITALY: After a week of compelling clay-court tennis at the Tennis Club Milano Alberto
Bonacossa, the 54th Trofeo Bonfiglio is set to new champions crowned on what promises to be a busy final day at the Grade A event.
Germany’s Alexander Zverev will be bidding to become the youngest ever champion of the historic ITF Junior tournament when he takes on third seeded Serbian and last year’s Orange Bowl champion Laslo Djere in the boys’ singles final. Zverev, who only turned 16 last month, put in another in a line of impressive performances this week when he overcame Guillermo Nunez of Chile 76(3) 63.
For his part, Djere looked increasingly composed against the talented young Frenchman Maxime Hamou, who had accounted for a number of higher ranked opponents in earlier rounds. Djere’s 76(4) 61 win secured his place in what will be his second Grade A final in six
months following his run to the Orange Bowl title - also on clay - last December, where he beat Elias Ymer of Sweden in the final. Djere was also runner-up at the Eddie Herr International that month and has a strong track record of performing well at the more prestigious stops on the ITF Junior Circuit.
One of Djere’s wins at the Eddie Herr International was over Zverev but the German has got a win over the Serbian after beating him at the Allianz Kundler German Juniors Supported by Optimal Systems in July 2012. Both of their previous matches have come on clay.
In the girls’ singles final, second seed Belinda Bencic of Switzerland will take on Russia’s Darya Kasatkina in a bid for what would be a second Grade A title for the Swiss after she won the Abierto Juvenil Mexicano claycourt event in December. Bencic progressed to the final in Milan after her semi-final opponent Elizaveta Kulichova was defaulted for punctuality. Under ITF Junior Circuit rules, players must be ready to play within fifteen minutes of their match being called.
Kasatkina needed three sets in her semi-final, coming from behind to battle past Great Britain’s Katy Dunne, 46 62 62. She and Bencic have met only once on the ITF Junior Circuit and that came earlier this month, also in Italy, at the 35th Torneo International Citta di Santa Croce Grade 1 clay-court event. Bencic won that match 75 57 62 and went on the take the title there.
Fiona Ferro and Margot Yerolymos of France earned themselves the girls’ doubles title on Saturday when they overcame the Japanese/Chinese pairing of Kyoka Okamura and Xiaodi You 62 46 10-6 in a match tiebreaker. Johannes Haerteis and Hannes Wagner of Germany will take on Zverev and his Russian partner Andrey Rublev in the last match of what promises to be a fascinating Sunday in Milan.