Orange Bowl 2011 – Finals

Photo source: Michael Baz / USTA.com

Top seed Dominic Thiem cruised to his third consecutive junior title having only lost one game in the Orange Bowl final to fellow countryman Patrick Ofner.

The Austrian headed into the clay court tournament at the Frank Veltri Tennis Center in Florida on the back of Yucatan Cup and Eddie Herr crowns and has now gone 18 matches unbeaten.

Coincidentally, Thiem produced the same 6-1, 6-0 scoreline when he defeated Ofner in last Sunday’s Eddie Herr final. It could have been even more embarrassing for the seventh seed as he found himself 5-0 behind early on in the match.

He salvaged some pride by getting on the scoreboard but Thiem’s dominance continued and, after a small rain delay, the world number eight won every game from then on.

Thiem joins illustrious names such as Roger Federer, Bjorn Borg, John McEnroe and Ivan Lendl who have lifted the under-18’s title in the past.

It wasn’t quite the perfect day for Thiem though. Himself and Germany’s Robin Kern were beaten 6-4, 6-3 by British pair Liam Broady and Joshua Ward-Hibbert in the boys’ doubles final.

Photo source: Michael Baz / USTA.com

Anett Kontaveit inflicted revenge on Yulia Putintseva following her quarter-final defeat at the Eddie Herr International last week by dominating the Orange Bowl final and emerging a 6-2, 6-2 winner.

It’s the 15-year-old’s second junior title of the year after her success at the ITF/LTAT Junior Championships in March and her first at Grade A level.

The Estonian overcame a lengthy delay to proceedings at 1-1 in the second set to see out the match against the Russian favourite, who had been enjoying a healthy unbeaten run herself.

Second seed Putintseva had looked to be getting back in it when she took an extended bathroom break at the start of the second set.

She re-emerged to break her fifth seeded opponent to love but her revival didn’t last and she showed her normal aggravation towards the result by smashing her racquet at the end.

Elsewhere, the USA missed out on the chance of a home champion in 2011 when the all-American duo of Jennifer Brady and Kendal Woodard lost 6-3, 7-6 (7-3) to Russian Victoria Kan and Ukrainian Ganna Poznikhirenko in the girls’ doubles final.

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Thiem and Putintseva win in Florida

Austria’s Dominic Thiem took his second title in as many weeks by winning the Eddie Herr International Junior Tennis Championships 2011 while Russian Yulia Putintseva won the trophy in her second final appearance.

Thiem had already won the Yucatan Cup on the hard courts of Mexico last weekend but had no trouble adjusting to the clay and lack of rest in Florida, as he didn’t drop a set in the whole tournament.

His opponent in the Grade 1 final was Trofeo Bonfiglio finalist and fellow Austrian Patrick Ofner. The pair had seen off strong semi-finalists Liam Broady and Mitchell Krueger comfortably and Thiem dispatched of his national counterpart with ease in the final, only dropping one game in the match to barely make the occasion a contest.

His great form and number one seeding for the Grade A Orange Bowl starting on Monday make him the man to beat as he continues to climb the top 10 rankings.

Yulia Putintseva

Promising youngster Putintseva will return to the Orange Bowl as second seed after making the quarter-finals of the last three slams and will take great confidence having won her first junior title since May 2010.

She had reached the final last year but succumbed to American Lauren Davis. She had to overcome another home player in Taylor Townsend to reach the final this year and battled through in three sets.

There she met fellow Russian Victoria Kan who beat Ganna Poznikhirenko of the Ukraine in the last four, again in three sets. The final was less of a contest however, as Putintseva came through 6-3, 7-6 (7-4).

With a WTA ranking already in the top 250, the 16-year-old has a bright future ahead of her.

For a full list of this year’s Eddie Herr International Junior Tennis Championships winners and draws click here.

Thiem and Khromacheva take titles

Top seeds Dominic Thiem and Irina Khromacheva claimed the boys’ and girls’ singles titles at the XXV Yucatan Cup 2011 in Mexico after beating their second seeded opponents in the final.

Austria’s former French Open finalist Thiem inflicted a 6-2, 6-4 defeat on this year’s US Open semi-finalist Kyle Edmund, who had also played a role in Britain’s triumph at the Junior David Cup, to claim his second singles title of the season.

Khromacheva, meanwhile, chalked up her fourth title of 2011 after beating Canada’s Eugenie Bouchard 6-7 (2-7), 6-3, 6-2. The Russian further cements her place at the top of the junior rankings despite not playing a junior event since the US Open but was prevented making it the perfect week when her opponents were handed a walkover in the doubles.

The Yucatan Cup is a Grade 1 hard court tournament and ranks only one below the junior Grand Slams and Grade A events. The Eddie Herr International Junior Tennis Championships is also at Grade 1 and starts on Monday in Florida.

For a full list of this year’s Yucatan Cup winners and draws click here.

French Open Juniors 2011 – Boys’ Singles Final

America has hope. This is nothing to do with Barack Obama but the feeling of hope around their part-Italian, Swedish-named 17-year-old prospect has risen thanks to his win in the French Open boys’ singles final.

Bjorn Fratangelo

Bjorn Fratangelo, named after six-time Roland Garros champion Bjorn Borg, defeated Dominic Thiem of Austria in a hard-fought contest that went down to the wire eventually taking it 3-6, 6-3, 8-6.

He’s now being talked about in the same sentence as John McEnroe having become the first American to win the boys’ title at Roland Garros since the outlandish legend succeeded in 1977.

The match itself consisted of huge hitting and a great start for Thiem, who took the first set with only one break required.

Fratangelo bounced back with a reverse of the first set scoreline before going toe-to-toe with Thiem in the third. Despite being involved in lengthy games on the Austrian’s serve, Fratangelo couldn’t take his chances and eight aces bailed Thiem out.

The breakthrough eventually came with good timing. At 6-6, the American broke and held to love sealing a great match and tournament victory.

Fratangelo, who turns 18 next month, emerged from virtually nowhere to take the crown. Before the tournament he’d never won a Grand Slam match in his career and entered unseeded.

He overcame 11th seed Joris De Loore in the third round before knocking out Oliver Golding in the quarter-finals to continue his success against the world number four having beaten the Brit in the Trofeo Bonfiglio last month.

It’s given him an increase of 19 positions in the junior rankings to #2 and he now says he’ll be participating in Futures events to increase his ATP World Tour ranking which is well below the top 1000.

For the 14th seeded Thiem, he has been re-instated in the top 10 junior rankings while the 17-year-old sits in the top 1000 of the men’s tour.

And in another tight scrap Spanish duo Andres Artunedo Martinavarr and Roberto Carballes Baena won the boys’ doubles title on a tiebreak which they took 10-5.

52nd Trofeo Bonfiglio 2011 – Boys’ Singles Final

The 2011 Trofeo Bonfiglio boys’ singles final strangely finished with the same scoreline as the girls’ final as Filip Horansky won 6-4, 6-2 against Patrick Ofner.

It marked the first time a Slovakian had won at the boys’ event and the 18-year-old will be hoping to add more success to his maiden Grade A tournament victory.

Being the seventh seed and junior world number 10, Horansky went into the match as the favourite. Plus his unseeded Austrian opponent had won just once at a Grade A tournament before this one, so reaching the final was a surprise in itself.

The match definitely wasn’t a classic with several exchanges of breaks in the first set. After Horansky took an early 4-1 lead, he was then pegged back but managed to come through and take it 6-4.

Horansky put the victory down to Ofner’s tiredness as the Slovak led 3-1 and 4-2 in the second. The last two games epitomised the match.

At 40-0 down, Horanksy came back to break before struggling to serve out the championship. He squandered two championship points before Ofner failed to convert a break point.

But similar in conduct to the whole final, Horansky did enough to secure victory eventually winning on his fourth championship point.

Filip Horansky

As with the girls’ singles, highlights of the boys’ final and surreal Rocky-style music can be found on La Gazzetta dello Sport website.

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