Great Britain 14U boys lift Winter Cup for first time in 11 years; 16U girls finish runners-up
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Great Britain’s 14U boys team were crowned champions at the Tennis Europe Winter Cup Finals in Niederzier after defeating Poland in the final on Saturday.
In the 16U competitions in France, Britain’s girls side finished runners-up, while the boys team came sixth in their Finals draw.
Having won their qualifying group two weeks prior, the 14U boys squad – led by Le Petit As champion Mark Ceban, Rhys Lawlor and Pavana Nrshinga – got off to a strong start in Germany, knocking out France 3-0 before moving on to face Turkey in the semis.
Facing the top seeded Turkish side, Lawlor took a big victory over Samim Filiz 7-6(4), 6-1 in the opening rubber, before Ceban picked up an impressive comeback win over Kaan Isik Kosaner 5-7, 6-1, 7-6(3) to cement the tie.
Great Britain went on to record a comfortable 2-0 win over second seeds Poland in the final, thanks to yet more heroics in the singles from Lawlor and Ceban – losing just 10 games between them.
This is the fifth time that Britain has won the 14U boys title in the history of the competition – the first time since 2012.
Team Captain Chris Wilkinson said: “It was a great achievement from the boys beating the top two seeds along the way to winning the title. The match against Turkey in the semi-finals proved to be tricky, but the boys showed good character to come through.
“Mark Ceban has started the year incredibly well winning Bolton, Tarbes and now the Winter Cup. Rhys Lawlor was unbeaten in the finals and in fact only lost 1 singles match during the whole campaign, he has really stepped up and shown a great level. Pavana Nrshinga contributed well to the team and stepped in and performed well in doubles, he will have benefitted hugely from this experience.
“A special shout out to my assistant Nick Morris who brought great energy and contributed superbly in creating a great team environment.
“I was also captain the last time we won the 14U event and on each occasion it feels very special and proud to be part of the team It’s back to reality now for these boys who will be back into their weekly programmes and then back out to Europe for some of the key Individual events.”
16U girls reach the final in France
The 16U girls team came within touching distance of lifting the title in Brest, with impressive wins over Poland and Turkey, but eventually lost out 2-1 to Czech Republic in the final.
Mika Stojsavljevic, Allegra Korpanec Davies and Abby Kelliher cruised past Poland without losing a set, but needed a doubles decider to edge past a tough Turkish side in the semi-finals.
In the final, the stage was set for another doubles decider against Czech Republic, after Stojsavljevic showed nerves of steel to come back from a set down against Julie Pastikova to make the score 1-1. However, this time it wasn’t to be for Kelliher and Korpanec Davies in the crucial doubles rubber, as the Brits just lost out 6-7(7), 6-3, 10-3.
"It was a brilliant weekend for the girls and team as a whole," said Team Captain Jocelyn Rae.
"Finishing second to a good Czech team was a great achievement. The performances by all 3 girls across the three days were really exciting and a high level against some top opponents. The way they supported each other and left everything on the court, I couldn’t have asked for any more as a Captain."
Sixth place finish for 16U boys
Staying in France, but this time in Marcq-en-Baroeul – the British 16U boys team finished sixth in the Finals, capping off a strong two week stretch.
Despite losing their opening tie against Romania, the Brits – including Zac Hamrouni, Max Carrier and Arthur Attrill – knocked out fourth seeds Italy in the first tie of the fifth to eighth place playoffs.
In their final match against Hungary, Carrier drew the Brits level at 1-1 after defeating Kolos Kinces 6-4, 6-0, but would eventually lose in the doubles alongside Hamrouni.