24 Jan 2013

Defending champions start well in Tarbes

Match Report

Photo: Roy Smilijanic PhotographyAlfie Hewett (GBR)

Defending champion Alfie Hewett, Dutchman Carlos Anker and Nico Langmann of Austria each one their opening two boys’ singles round-robin matches on Thursday’s first day of the 2013 Cruyff Foundation Junior Masters, while Colombia’s Angelica Bernal also began her bid for a third successive girls’ singles title with a comprehensive win in her first group match.

In Group 1 of the boys’ singles world No. 1 ranked junior Hewett began his title defence with a 60 61 win over South Africa’s Thato Tsomole. Hewett ended the day by beating Martin de La Puente of Spain 60 60 in match in which the 15-year-old Briton won 95% of the points played on his first serve.

In the same group Anker defeated Tsomole 60 60, while the closest of the day’s Group 1 matches saw Anker overcome de la Puente 64 62. Anker and Hewett will now meet each other on Friday to decide who finishes top of their group.

Langmann, the world No. 3 ranked junior, completed the first day of competition in pole position in Group 2 after beating American Chris Herman 64 62 and Hamid Hel of Iraq 62 63. While Herman secured his first win of the week against South Africa’s world No. 2 ranked junior Gift Lekhanyane 63 62, the only three set contest on Thursday came when Hel recovered from losing his first set against Lekhanyane to drop just one game in the next two sets to wrap up a 57 60 61 win.

Langmann completes his group matches on Friday with a contest against Lekhanyane and with a place in the semifinals at stake Hel and Herman will meet in a crucial match.

Currently No. 4 in the girs’ singles world rankings, 17-year-old Bernal began what will be her last Cruyff Foundation Junior Masters with a comfortable 61 62 win over world No. 2 ranked junior Polina Shakirova of Russia.

The two-time champion will play Diede de Groot of the Netherlands in Friday’s second set of girls’ singles matches. The Dutch player opened her challenge with a straight sets win over Mariksa Venter of South Africa. De Groot dropped just two games in the opening set and although Venter won the first two games of the second set, de Groot went on to complete a 62 64 victory.

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