12 Jan 2014

Bellis and Safiullin Champions in Costa Rica

Match Report

Photo: Fred MullaneRoman Safiullin (RUS)

Saturday, the last day and final round at the 50th Copa del Café was another day of glorious sunshine and perfect tennis weather. The four matches for the day started in midafternoon at Stadium Court and went until closing ceremonies late into the night.

The Girls Singles final featured no. 1 seed Marie Bouzkova of the Czech Republic against eighthseed Catherine Bellis of USA.  By ranking Bouzkova was the favorite but on the court Bellis held her ground and used amazing firepower, given her small stature, and well placed groundstrokes to put the Czech girl on the defensive. At the end it was Bellis who prevailed 64 63. 

The finals for Boys Singles were disputed between top seed Roman Safiullin of Russia and Ryotaro Matsumura of Japan.  Play was high quality on both sides as the finalists are light on their feet and seemingly float over the court.  Yet Safiullin was just a step ahead on key points and wore down the Japanese player in the first set tiebreak. From then on the Russian dominated, taking the set, match, and championship 76 61.

The first final of the day was girls doubles. The Belgian duo of Morgane Michiels and Greetje Minnen seeded 3 took on the intercontinental team of Emily Arbuthnott of Great Britain and Luisa Stefani of Brazil, seeded 4. On their way to the final the Belgians defeated the no. 6 and 7 seeds, while Arbuthnott and Stefani dispatched the no. 2 and 5 seeds. It was a good, entertaining match as both teams played well. The Belgians had more firepower, especially on Minnen's serve which was perhaps the best in the tournament. They played as a well coached, coordinated, team. Arbuthnott and Stefani also played intelligent doubles, with Stefani intercepting repeatedly and Arbuthnott covering the court with sometimes acrobatic strokes. Both teams deserved to win, but the Belgians took the title 64 75.

The Boys Doubles featured no. 3 seeds and South American duo of Nicolas Alvarez (PER) Rafael Coutinho (VEN)  against the unseeded Adrian Andrzejcuk (POL) and Nam Hoan Ly (VIE) who travel and train together in Sweden. The South Americans had an easier draw, facing only one seeded team (no. 7). The Polish Vietnamese team had a more difficult road to the finals, defeating no. 1 and 6 seeds along the way. The doubles final was a good match, going to 3 sets, with the South Americans playing strong tennis and the Andrzejcuk and Ly duo exploiting angles and anticipating well. In the end the South Americans prevailed 64 36 107.

The Organizing Committee takes great pleasure in congratulating today’s players for a fine tournament. Please come back next year for the commencement of our next half century of junior tennis with the 51st  running of the Copa del Café.