Latvia got off to a flying start by winning both the boys’ and girls’ singles events at this year’s ITF/Tennis Europe 14 & Under Development Championships which took place in Antalya, Turkey from 13 – 23 March. The event, which was hosted by the Turkish Tennis Federation, attracted players from 15 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 Daniela Vismane dominated the first event reaching the girls’ finals without dropping a set. She secured the title with a convincing 62 62 win over Ana Shanidze, of Georgia. In the boys’ event, only Latvian Danils Batmanovs from the first four seeded players reached the semifinals, where he beat Lukas Tomic, of Bosnia Herzegovina 60 63. In the top half of the draw, Anton Magnusson, of Iceland first upset the No. 1 seed from Georgia Nikoloz Davlianidze 62 63 before going on to beat Annei Laska, of Belarus 63 63 in the semifinals. His progress was then stopped short in the finals where he went down to Batmanovs 36 60 60.
Batmanovs then teamed up with his compatriot Teodors Pukshe earning another title for Latvia by defeating the Georgian pairing of Nikoloz Davlianidze and Zura Tkemaladze 62 63 in the boys’ doubles finals. Marija Elenova and Darija Krzovska, of Macedonia beat Georgian players Mariam Dalakishvili and Ana Shanidze in the finals after a long battle in the deciding tiebreak set 6-2 6-7(5) [10-4] to secure the girls’ doubles trophy.
In the second week, Adela Joldic, of Bosnia Herzegovina was able to overcome No. 1 seed Vismane in the semifinals 62 57 63 before going on to claim the girls’ singles title after another long three set match against sixth seed Vitalia Stamat, of Moldova 46 76 (0) 62. Both boys’ events were dominated by Georgian players with the singles title being won by Nikoloz Davlianidze, who beat his compatriot Zura Tkemaladze 75 26 64 in the finals. Together they won the doubles title defeating second seeds from Moldova Vasilii Dontu and Alexandr Vitcov 62 75. Elenova and Krzovska repeated their previous week’s success and took the girls’ doubles title with a 76 64 win against Adela Joldic and Laura Tomic of Bosnia Herzegovina.
ITF/Tennis Europe Development Officer Hrvoje Zmajic was in attendance at the event, and commented; “Thanks to the ITF/Tennis Europe Development Programme, these Championships have once again helped players from a number of our smaller nations to compete against high quality opposition. The facilities here in Antalya are first class and with ten matches over ten days, all of the players and coaches have been able to make the most of the opportunity to work on their games and gain valuable international experience.”
A number of today’s top professionals, including Victoria Azarenka, Simona Halep and Grigor Dimitrov have benefitted from playing the event in the past.