27 May 2017

Trofeo Bonfiglio finalists ready for action

News Article

By Sandra Harwitt

Alexei Popyrin (AUS)

The difficult task of ending unseeded Timofey Skatov’s dream week at the 58th Trofeo Bonfiglio fell to 14th-seeded Alexei Popyrin of Australia on Saturday.

Skatov had journeyed to the semifinal by removing a number of key seeds, starting with 11th-seeded Constantin Bittoun Kouzmine of France in the first round. He moved on to upset sixth-seeded Juan Pablo Grassi Mazzuchi of Argentina in the third round, followed by fourth-seeded Trent Bryde of USA in the quarterfinals.

By the time he reached the semifinals the burden of taking down another seeded player turned out to be a little too much to ask, although he tried valiantly to get through to the final. In the end, Popyrin scored a hard fought 67 (1) 75 63 semifinal win to advance to the Milan-based tournament’s championship match.

Popyrin arrived at the Trofeo Bonfiglio straight off of capturing the Grade 1 Casablanca title on clay the first week of May. Earlier in the season he was a quarterfinalist at the Traralgon Junior International and the Beaulieu-sur-Mer tournaments.

Popyrin will have to bypass 15th-seeded Marko Miladinovic of Serbia if he’s to win his second junior title of the year. Miladinovic booked his spot in the final with a 64 64 win over 13th-seeded Oliver Crawford of USA.

Miladinovic is also looking for his second winner’s trophy of the season having won the Banana Bowl in Brazil earlier in the year. Most recently he reached the Santa Croce semifinals and Beaulieu-sur-Mer finals.

The girls’ final will be contested by eighth-seeded Iga Swiatek of Poland and unseeded Elena Rybakina of Russia.

Swiatek bypassed unseeded Lea Boskovic of Croatia when the latter retired from the match with the Pole leading 62 20.

Rybakina had a busier day earning her semifinal win before ousting Ylena In-Albon of Switzerland 57 75 61. The Russian’s best outing of the year was reaching the Australian Open semifinal where she lost to eventual champion Marta Kostyuk.

While Rybakina will be hoping to win her first junior trophy of the year on Sunday, Swiatek already pulled in the victory at the Traralgon Junior International in January.

The doubles champions were decided on Saturday with the boys’ and girls’ title being captured by unseeded teams who both upset the top seeds in the draw along the way to the titles.

In the boys’ doubles, Axel Geller of Argentina and Nicolas Mejia of Colombia scored the trophy over Naoki Tajima of Japan and Alexey Zakharov of Russia 64 62. Geller and Mejia upset the top-seeded pairing of Trent Bryde of USA and Wu Yibing of China in the second round.

In the girls’ doubles, the American duo of Caty McNally and Whitney Osuigwe upset the seventh-seeded Mai Hontama and Yuki Narito of Japan 63 62 to score the title. McNally and Osuigwe ousted the top-seeded team of Amina Anshba of Russia and Kaja Juvan of Serbia in the first round.