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In the run-up to the tournament, it was difficult to make a clear prediction about the favourites: As the top eight European under-14 national teams, they all had a real chance of going far in the tennis court in Rurbenden.
A tournament mode was provided for all the courts to be played, resulting in a very special tournament atmosphere at the Rurbenden Tennis Hall with four daily matches held simultaneously at the end of this carnival.
The Brits, led by current European player Marc Seiben, showed they were a force to be reckoned with on the first day of the tournament against France. In this meet’s singles best, the Tarpes Final, the largest under-14 indoor tournament in the world, was once again played between Mark Ceban and Daniel Jade. Also in this competition, Ceben was just a step ahead and paved the way for his team’s sovereign 3-0 victory over France. The top seeded Turks started the tournament with the same confidence, beating Italy 3-0 and reaching an impressive semi-final against Great Britain.
The German national team presented itself as focused and enthusiastic on home soil. From the start of the tournament, Vincent Jacob Reisach, Marco Ontiveros Castro and Eric Dylan Müller had to prove their nerves of steel under the guidance of national coach Peter Pvankoch. So they narrowly won 2: 1 against the Slovenes, who are nominally stronger. The decisive doubles had to decide on winning with a score of 1:1 after the singles. The first day of the tournament ended with Poland’s 2-1 victory over the Czech Republic and all semi-final matches were decided.
It was especially exciting on Friday. All four matches that took place ended with a score of 2-1. Germany and Poland had a real fight for the final ticket on Center Court. After Germany took a 1: 0 lead through a strong comeback to win the No. 2 singles, the home team had two chances to win. However, Poland equaled first with a narrow two sets win in the best singles and reached the final with a 7:5 6:4 victory in the doubles decider. Very bitter for the German national team, who put in a solid performance and still have a chance of being on the podium on Saturday.
In the second semi-final duel between Great Britain and Turkey, one of the best singles matches of the tournament can be seen between Marc Sepan (GBR) and Kan Isik Kosaner (TUR), which Sepan won 7:6 in the third set after a great fight. After 1: 0 led by Briton No. 2 Reese Lawlor, this meant the final for the British. France and the Czech Republic also reached the match for fifth place with 2-1 wins over Italy and Slovenia.
On the same evening, all the teams with their team captains and the tournament organizing team gather to play bowling together. A fitting change for the youngsters after an eventful day on the field. It was great to see the relaxed atmosphere between players from all countries. Afterwards, all teams left their autographs on the bowling pins, which are now in the Rurbenden Tennis Hall as a positive reminder of the entire event.
Great Britain looked fresh from their semi-final success the previous day and appeared in the final against Poland. So they were able to win both singles groups outright and thus win their first European Championship in this age group after more than 10 years.
In the bronze medal game, German singles players Erik Dylan Müller and Marco Ontiveros Castro won the first set before Samin Velez and Izik Kosaner of the Turkish squad made a strong comeback and thus secured Turkey’s third place. The Czech Republic finished fifth with a 2-1 win over France, while Italy finished seventh thanks to a 2-1 win over Slovenia.
With the award ceremony that followed, the Under-14 Youth Tennis European Winter Cup finals at the Tennis Hall in Rurbenden came to an end. The response of the participating national teams has been consistently positive. Accordingly, the tournament director, TVM Youth Director Kuno Sternberg, was satisfied: “This tournament was a complete success. We were very happy about the many messages with positive feedback and gratitude from the captains of the respective team. We succeeded in making all the teams feel comfortable and happy to return. In addition to the strong performance of all the players, we are very grateful for the positive and special atmosphere throughout the tournament.At this point, it must be emphasized that such an event would not have been possible without the help of the hall owner Marcus Schall, the team of assistants, the tournament management, the referees and the many sponsors.Thank you very much! We will be very happy to host this tournament again.”
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