GOMEL, BELARUS: The second Gomel Cup took place during the week of 19 November. Following the success of the inaugural event in 2011, over 70 players, including several who are ranked in the Top 50 on the ITF seniors world rankings, including competitors from Russia, Ukraine and Belarus.This event was dedicated to the 69th anniversary of the liberation of Gomel.
The opening ceremony saw the local gymnastics team produce a fine display followed by the children from the tennis centre presenting local made souvenirs of the city of Gomel to all participants.
The men’s 70s saw Yuriy Pavklov (RUS), current world No. 76, take the title in straight sets beating Kiev’s Vladimir Ryabtsev (UKR) 63 62 while the men’s 65s saw Yuri Shamanin (RUS) defend his 2011 title with a 60 64 win over Nikolay Kashkin (RUS).
World No. 63 Vladimir Nazarenko (UKR) won all of his matches in in the men’s 60s round-robin event to take the title in a very convincing manner.
In the men’s 55s, the final saw a tight three-set match between world No. 47 Franc Nunikyan (RUS) and Sergei Khokhrin (UKR), the world No. 107. An upset seemed possible after Nunikyan lost the first set 62, but he was able to dig deep to take the next two sets 63 63.
The men’s 50s saw an all-Belarus final with world No. 99 Siarhei Sudnikovich taking the title 62 63 against Aleksander Maksimtchik.
In the mens 45s, Maksik Yaruk (BLR) defeated Mikalai Talkachou (BLR) 62 64 while the men’s 40s title was won by world No. 76 Andrej Yaruk (BLR).
The final men’s singles title available was the 35s, which was awarded to Maksim Dubrovenski (BLR) after he recorded a 63 75 victory over Alexei Nikoulin (BLR).
The women’s events started well with a win for world No. 39 Ekaterina Sudnik (BLR) in the 35 age category. Valenatina Shatkovskaya (BLR) also showed her quality in the women’s 45s with a convincing win in the final against Marina Zakurdaeva (RUS) 61 60.
The tournament closed with an official dinner that was held at restaurant Spartac Zamok.
Tournament director Vladimir Voitovitch expressed his delight at how successful the tournament had been and looks forward to 2013.