Ever since 2012, when Kungens Kanna & Drottningens Pris became a category-1 tournament of the Tennis Europe Junior Tour, we have been starved for success aside from when Mikael Ymer made it to the finals in 2012. If we except Mikael’s honourable placing, only seven Swedish players have made it to the round of 16 in singles.
Let us hope that this years tournament marks a trend reversal, rather than merely an anomaly , with three Swedes in the singles quarterfinals and five Swedes in the doubles semifinals.
– A refreshing result so far, as KLTK’s and Tennisförbundet’s primary goal of this tournament is to create competitive opportunities of the highest level on home field. Everyone knows that it is easier to perform to the best of your abilities in a environment where you feel comfortable, Tournament Director Joe Beaton says.
– Even though some of the worlds highest ranked players are missing, the competition is still of the highest international class – proving the astonishing achievement that these three Swedes now in the singles quarterfinals have accomplished. Let’s now hope that these players can inspire each other to continue the hunt for the ultimate prize, Beaton finishes.
In Drottningens Pris the Swedish hope Klara MIlicevic (picture) set the tone early in her match. A rock solid win in two straight sets against the British Mutavdzik means that Klara is now the first Swedish girl in modern time to make it to the quarterfinals.
The Russian duo of Bondarenko and Aleshina continue to impress, although the remaining competition still looks tough to beat with Elena Karner (Austria), Amarissa Toth (Hungary), Vidmanova (Czech Republic), Fatima Keita (Romania) and Michelle Tikhonko (USA).
There were four Swedish boys remaining before the round of 16 played out on Wednesday. Sadly Viggo Gröndal, who fought through the qualifiers to make it to Kungens Kanna, lost his match to the British Joel Pierleoni in two close sets. Adrian Luddeckens faced off against the “artist” of Bahamas, Jacobi Bain, and managed to initially keep up to the high tempo, before finally being out paced by the artist.
Michael Minasyan has been playing exceptionally all week and yesterday’s match was no exception where he beat the Portuguese Miguel Gomes. KLTK’s own Leo Borg, who has been playing phenomenally for the past months in the Tennis Europe Junior Tour, beat the skilled Marko Andreijc thanks to a nigh on perfect performance. The French Max Westphal, the top seeded Dane Elmer Møller and the British duo Jack Pennington Jones and Derrick Chen (second seed) are the other remaining players who on Thursday will play in the quarterfinals.
There are joyous Swedish news to report from the doubles. Izabelle Persson/Julia Lövkvist have shown that they are capable of keeping up with the high international level, fighting their way to a well deserved spot in the semifinals. On the boy’s side KLTK’s own Alexander Ericsson and Ethan Blot won their derby against Måns Dahlberg/Leo Borg, and Michael Minasyan with his partner Jacobi Bain also made it to the semifinals.
– While the road from being a successful junior player to become a professional senior player is incredibly tough, let us not starve our dreams for a brighter Swedish future in tennis. If what we are witnessing in Kungl. Tennishallen right now is of any indication for what the future may bring, the future can’t come soon enough, KLTK’s Head of Sports Rickard Billing comments.
The games will begin at 10:30 AM with the boys singles quarterfinals, followed by the girls quarterfinals. Klara Milicevic faces Elena Karner (Austria), Leo Borg plays Elmer Møller (Denmark), and Michael Minasyan takes on Joel Pierleoni (UK).