Great Britain’s 16U & 12U Girls teams finish runners-up at Tennis Europe’s Summer Cup
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The British junior teams enjoyed strong success at this year’s Tennis Europe Summer Cup – including a runner-up finish for the 16U and 12U Girls squads.
The 16U team – comprising of Mingge (Mimi) Xu, Hephzibah Oluwadare, Hannah Klugman – came in as the second seeds having qualified in Rhodes and managed to battle through close matches in the quarter and semi-finals to reach the final.
Xu and Klugman formed a formidable team in the opening ties and combined to clinch a doubles decider in the last eight against Germany and then again in the semi-finals against Serbia.
On they progressed to the final, where they faced top seeds Czech Republic. Undefeated until this point in the competition, Klugman lost the opening singles rubber to Laura Samsonova 6-4, 6-3, before Xu lost out to Alena Kovackova. The Czechs went on to win the final doubles match to seal a 3-0 victory and lift the title.
“I’m immensely proud of the pride and passion the girls showed in representing their country,” said LTA Women’s National Coach, Katie O’Brien. “The team spirit was excellent from the first day until the last. The girls embraced every challenge which came their way…of which there were many.
“This team competition will no doubt go down as one of the most enjoyable experiences in the girls’ young careers and they are already looking forward to competing at the Junior Billie Jean King Cup Finals in Cordoba, Spain later this year.”
Meanwhile, the 12U Girls team went undefeated in their round-robin group to book their place in Sunday’s final. Megan Knight, Liv Zingg and Ingrid Dumitru defeated Spain 3-0 in their opener, before clinching doubles win against France and another 2-1 win over Czech Republic to complete their unbeaten record.
In the final, they took on an Israel, who, like Great Britain, had won all three of their group matches to the loss of just two rubbers. Israel won both singles matches – Daniel Branes opening with a 6-3, 6-3 win against Zingg, before ofir Manhard defeated Knight 6-4, 6-3 – as the Brits finished second.
There were also strong results for both the 14U Boys and Girls teams, who finished third and fourth respectively a few weeks ago in July.
The Boys team beat Slovakia 2-0 in the quarter-finals – thanks to straight sets victories from Mark Ceban and Rhys Lawlor – but were eventually defeated by France in the semis.
In the third, fourth place play-offs, Britain’s Leo Wright opened with a 1-6, 6-3, 6-2 win over Filip Ladman, before Ceban secured third spot with a 6-2, 6-7(5), 6-4 victory over Tomas Kejci.
Meanwhile, the Girls team – led by Hollie Smart, Edie Griffiths and Lara Savic – knocked out France 3-0 in their opener, but lost out to Serbia in the semi-finals, before a narrow defeat in the doubles decider vs Slovakia in the third, fourth place play-off.
Elsewhere the 18U Boys team ended the week in seventh – Viktor Frydych, Henry Jefferson and Charlie Robertson closing out their event with a 2-1 win over Sweden in the 7/8th place play-off.
Both the GB 18U Girls and the 12U Boys teams narrowly missed out on making the finals this year, bowing out in the qualifying rounds earlier this month.
All GB teams were supported by the LTA Performance team and coaches during the event, with many of the players currently on the National Age Group Programme and through our National Academies as part of our Performance Player Pathway to help juniors become the best players they can be.