Russia scores double Nations Challenge win

Russia scores double Nations Challenge winRussia has swept the Tennis Europe Nations Challenge by HEAD12 & Under team competition, becoming the first country ever to win both the boys’ and girls’ titles in the same year.

In both finals the winners encountered spirited resistance from Czech teams, but were able to hold on for victory. At the girls’ finals in Ajaccio (FRA), Anastasia Potapova gave the Russians an early lead with a straightforward win over , conceding just three games. then came back from the brink of defeat against Olesya Pervishina to extend the final tie to a decisive doubles match, recovering from the loss of the first set and holding her nerve to clinch a second set tie break before taking the third set 6-3 after almost two and a half hours of play.

When the four players returned to the court, the Russians were in charge, beating the Czechs – who together have won two doubles titles on the 12 & under circuit so far this season, 6-2 6-4.

The Czechs therefore finish as runners-up for a second consecutive year, and are still looking for their first title in the competition. 2008-2009 champions Ukraine beat Serbia to claim the bronze medal position.

The boys final in Alghero (ITA) followed a similar scoreline, with the Russians conceding just three games in the opening match as Alexey Zakharov beat 6-2 6-1. Just as in Ajaccio, that was followed by a two and a half hour marathon, though this time the Russians were able to close out the tie as Alen Avidzba beat Tomas Jirousek 6-4 2-6 6-0.

Machac and Zakharov returned for the doubles match,. Teaming with Evzen Holis and Nikolay Vyleghzanin respectively, and the Russian pair secured a 3-0 win overall, taking the match in a pair of tie breaks.

In the third-place play off match, Germany came from behind to beat Spain 2-1.

The victories at the Nations Challenge bring to a close a year of unprecedented success for Russian teams in 12 & Under competitions. Russia also swept the inaugural Tennis Europe Winter Cups by HEAD event in February, beating Switzerland and Czech Republic to win the boys’ and girls’ title respectively.

Boys Finals — Alghero

Group A Draw | Group B Draw Photos

Girls Finals — Ajaccio

Group A Draw | Group B DrawPhotos

Final Standings

Boys Girls
1 Russia Russia
2 Czech Republic Czech Republic
3 Germany Ukraine
4 Spain Serbia
5 Netherlands Spain
6 Italy Slovakia
7 Romania Poland
8 Bulgaria Great Britain


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