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.
There was very little British interest in events a fortnight ago, with only Derrick Chen in action at U14 level. Chen was playing at the Category 2 event in Trnava, Slovakia, and was seeded 13th, coming through two easy opening round matches before losing to 4th seed Vitek Horak of the Czech Republic in the third round.
Far more interest last week at events, with even a couple of U16 takers: at the Category 2 ZLTC Cup in Brno, Czech Republic, Holly Fischer produced an excellent run to the semi-finals at the 9th seed, dropping just 11 games in 4 matches before a straight sets defeat in the semis against Czech qualifier Adriana Kovarova. In the Boys’ draw, Oscar Weightman was unseeded and took a couple of decent scalps en route to a third round exit, beating 12th seed Jaroslav Smedek of the Czech Republic 6-3 7-6(13) thanks to a marathon tiebreak in the second set.
The biggest event with British interest this week was the U14 Category 2 Wilson Cup in Prague. Holly Staff, seeded eighth, reached the quarter-finals, Kylie Bilchev, seeded sixth, made the semis, but they were both outdone by ninth seed Emma Raducanu, who won the title after defeating the first and second seeds in the quarter-finals and final respectively. The final was between the Brit and Sofiya Chekhlystova from Estonia, with the young 13-year-old triumphing 3-6 7-6(7) 7-6(5) is a very tense and close final. There were plenty of Boys involved too, with Sam Bossem and Toby Samuel both reaching the quarter-finals, with Ali Hassan exiting in the second round. The best male performance came from 16th seed Barney Fitzpatrick, who defeated the top seed in the third round before a tough three-set defeat in the quarters to eventual finalist Vitek Horak.
There was also a Category 2 event in Croatia, where Derrick Chen made the third round as 6th seed before defeat to an unranked Swede, while in the Girls’ draw, MJ Changwereza did exactly the same, reaching the third round before defeat to 10th seeded Frenchwoman Capucine Sanoner. There were two Category 3 events with British interest also: in Italy, Daniel Webb made the second round before being dumped out by the second seed, while seventh seed Tiana Fox also made the second round before an early exit. Finally, in Bosnia, Luca McManus fell in the first round.
A couple of tournaments of interest at U12 level, with a Category 3 in both Italy and Spain attracting British interest. Leah Gonzales Edwards made the second round in Italy, while Mollie Edge was beaten in the first round, while George Russell also made the second round in Spain, with Anya Kotecha being beaten in the first round.