To flesh out our coverage of Tennis Europe events at U16, U14 and U12 level, we’re producing a new fortnightly feature each Monday, which summarises the young Brits in action across Europe at Category 1, 2 & 3 events.
In the first two full weeks of March, there were plenty of Tennis Europe events taking place, but at U16 level, only one Brit was in action. In the first week of March, 14-year-old Erika Bastista Dodridge took part in the U16 Category 2 event in Milovice, Czech Republic, entitled the Realsport Open ’16. Dodridge has entered one ITF Juniors event so far this year winning a single match in qualifying for the Grade 4 event in Switzerland in February.
The Brit was unseeded but did rather well, defeating the third seed Romana Cisovska of Slovakia in the first round, with the Slovak retiring after dropping the first set 6-3. Dodridge went on to defeat Belorussian Aliaksandra Lebedeva 6-4 6-1 before coming a cropper in the quarter-finals, losing 7-5 60 to German seventh seed Santa Strombach.
At U14 level, a total of seven Brits were in action over the course of two weeks. At the only Category 1 event, the TIM Essonne, which took place two weeks ago in Sainte-Geneviève-des-Bois in France, we had a representative in both the Boys and in the Girls draw. Holly Staff, who was seeded 13th, enjoyed a bye through the first round of the main draw but will perhaps be disappointed that she lost her second round match 6-3 6-3 against Polish Pola Wygonowska. In the Boys’ draw, unseeded Arthur Fery didn’t fare much better, losing his first round match 6-2 6-1 to French wildcard Quentin Kouvtanovitch, who went on to defeat the top seed in the second round.
At last week’s U14 Category 2 Lawn Tennis Club Tournament in Angro do Heroismo in Portugal, qualifier Daniel Webb did exceptionally well, coming through a first round encounter with a fellow qualifier from Brazil 6-0 6-0 before defeating Portuguese wildcard Afonso Matias 6-4 6-4 to reach the quarter-finals. He was eventually halted by top seed Terence Atmane of France, going down 6-3 6-2. In the equivalent Girls’ draw, Dalanda Bah came through her first round match before being eliminated by fourth seed Maria Ines Fonte of Portugal 6-4 6-3.
There were two Category 3 events with British interest, one this week and one last week. At the Cup der Nordverbände in Isernhagen, Germany last week, second seed Derrick Chen was joined by Luka Petrovic in the main draw. Petrovic was unfortunately beaten 6-4 6-4 in the first round, but Chen progressed to the quarter-finals before Swaziland’s fifth seed Dominic Stricker defeated him 6-4 6-4. In the Girls’ draw, Annabel Davis came through qualifying and defeated German Paula Marie Brandes in the first round 6-1 7-6(3) before succumbing to the talents of top seed Tess Demin of the Netherlands
This week, the Kaleva Open took place in Oulu, Finland, where Jack Pinnington-Jones was top seed and joined from qualifying by Matthew Rutter. Rutter was beaten in the first round but Jones progressed to the semi-finals, defeating fifth seed Iiro Vasa of Finland 1-6 6-0 6-4 in the quarters, before losing to eventual champion Adrian Burdet of Switzerland. In the Girls’ draw, Amelia Bissett was seeded seventh and fulfilled her seeding by reaching the quarter-finals, where she was beaten by second seed Lotta Heiskanen of Finland, 6-2 6-2.
Just two Girls in action at U12 level this week, both at last week’s Category 3 events. Tatiana Mouzykantskii took part in the seedless Ladoga Cup in Russia, where she reached the quarter-finals, losing 7-6(5) 6-1 to the eventual champion Erika Andreeva, winning the most games off the Russian of anyone all week. Meanwhile, at the OTI Junior Cup in Turkey, Matilda Mutavdzic also reached the quarter-finals before losing 6-2 6-4 to Romanian Maria Popa, who went on to lose in the final.