Photo: Thomas KleinAll ITF teams and coaches in Dueren
Three ITF/GSDF 14 & under teams, comprising 29 players from 19 different countries, completed a successful five-week trip to Europe last weekend, which saw them contest eleven finals and win seven titles on the ITF Tour to Young Stars tournaments, part of the Tennis Europe 14 & under circuit.
The ITF/ATF Asian team got off to a flying start at the BNP Paribas tournament in Paris, when Chen-Jui Ho, of Chinese Taipei reached the boys’ singles semi-finals and then paired up with teammate Seon Yong Han, of Korea to reach the finals of the boys’ doubles event. The following week, Ho went on to score a victory in the boys’ doubles partnered with Russian player Alexey Zakharov in Velp, the Netherlands a feat he repeated in Dueren, Germany playing with Zhao Lingxi, of China. Han paired up with fellow Korean teammate Uisung Park to take the boys’ doubles title in Nantes and they progressed to the semifinals the following week in Dueren. Park also reached the boys’ singles finals in Nantes before losing to number one seed Sebastien Baez, of Argentina.
The most consistent players on the Asian team were the Chinese pairing of Zhuoma Ni Ma and Xiyu Wang, who reached the girls’ doubles semi-finals in Paris, after a convincing win over the Russian second seeds, and then capitalising on their success to go on to lift the girls’ doubles trophy at the following events in Velp, Nantes and Dueren. The final week in Hasselt saw Ni Ma storm through the girls’ singles event without dropping a set and defeat the number one seed in the finals.
Other notable performances were recorded by Watsachol Sawatdee, of Thailand who reached the girls’ singles finals in Nantes after a tough three set victory over the number one seed Russian player Anna Kharitonova. Korean Mijeong Park and partner Eliza Askarova, of Kyrgyzstan advanced to the girls’ doubles finals in Hasselt before losing to third seeds Maria Budin and Eliz Muloney, of Great Britain. Park also won the girls’ Consolation singles in Nantes and was matched by Adil Kalyanpur, of India taking the boys’ Consolation title at the same event.
The ITF/COSAT South American team achieved their best results at the fourth tournament on the tour, when Venezuelan Patrick Sydow, paired with Santiago Franze, of Argentina advanced to the boys’ doubles final in Dueren where they succumbed to sixth seeds Ho and Zhao Lingxi. Sydow also reached the boys’ singles quarterfinals in Velp and Nantes.
The Brazilian pairing of Igor Gimenez and Joao Reis da Silva secured a spot in the boys’ doubles quarterfinals in Paris, Nantes whilst on the girls’ side, Erika Froch Gauto, of Paraguay and Michelle Los Arcos Balasch, of Venezuela reached the girls’ doubles quarterfinals in Hasselt.
Colombian Maria Osorio Serrano put in an excellent performance during the tour, winning some tough matches to reach the semifinals of the girls’ singles in Nantes and the quarterfinals in Velp. Peru’s Anastasia Iamachkine achieved her best result in Velp when she progressed to the finals of the girls’ Consolation singles bowing out to number one seed Julia Oczachowska, of Poland. Dueren saw her reach the quarterfinals of the girls' singles.
The highlight for the ITF/CAT African team was when Yassine Chouaieb, of Tunisia and South Africa’s Philip Henning paired up to attain the boys’ doubles semifinals in Nantes before losing to ATF team players and eventual winners Han and Park. The following week saw them reach the q
Moroccan Diae El Jardi and Sada Nahimana, of Burundi advanced to the quarterfinals of the girls’ doubles at the first tournament in Paris and Nahimana lost to the number one seed Jovana Samoceta, of Serbia in the finals of the girls' Consolation singles in Hasselt.
The junior touring teams are part of the ITF development programme, which is financed by the ITF and the Grand Slam Development Fund. The teams comprise the best players in the under 14 age category and are selected through regional qualifying tournaments. Some of the players had also been selected to represent their country and joined their national teams in Prostejov, Czech Republic to participate in the World Junior Tennis finals, during the final leg of the tour, whilst the remaining ITF team players took part in the Hasselt tournament.
The tour provides a unique opportunity for players from South America, Africa and Asia to gain experience and compare their skills against the best European players.
To access the draw sheets from the various tournaments, please click here