13 Jul 2012

First European Regional Closed Championships held in Sofia

Match Report

Photo: Desislava KulelievaWomen's singles 60 medallists at European Senior Championships

The European Senior Championships in Sofia, Bulgaria marked the first time that the ITF Senior Circuit included a closed regional event on its calendar. The event was granted Grade B1 status and was attended by a number of World Champions looking to add European titles to their names.

A large number of nations were represented within the draws and the spoils were also shared amongst 17 countries including one for the host nation when Tzvetelina Nikolova partnered Alec Arho-Havren of Finalnd to victory in the mixed doubles 40 event.

One of the most hotly contested events was the men's singles 60 where the top seeds Bruno Renoult and Alfred Boeckl progressed to meet in the final. With both players ranked inside the Top 5 for the age category, the Frenchman Renoult took the first set before Boeckl was able to level and keep alive hopes of an upset. Renoult was able to turn it back in his favour in the decider, however, and completed a 63 36 62 victory before also winning the men's doubles 55.

World Number 1 Leslie O'Halloran produced some of the most dominating displays of the tournament on her way to the women's singles 45 title. The Irishwoman produced exquisite performances against Monika Rajska of Poland and Marina Zakurdaeva of Russia to win without the loss of a single game. Only world Number 16 Marzena Rowicka caused any problems for the favourite but still managed to take just four games off O'Halloran.

The diversity of competitiors on show was highlighted by the appearance of 86-year-old Jutta Apel in the women's 70. Apel, the oldest player in the tournament, notched up a single victory in the round robin competition.