The year started off with two Category 1 tournaments in Russia, the RWB Christmas Cup 2019 in and Junior Kremlin Cup 2019 in Ryazan.

After 14 days of quality competition, it was a case of two Category 1 finals in as many weeks for a promising pair of Russians. Maxim Zhukov has won his second title in a row, while Elena Pridankina went one better than last week’s runner-up spot to claim the 2019 Junior Kremlin Cup titles. Home players dominated the singles, but with players from 15 different countries in action, the doubles saw success for outsiders. The boys’ title went to Marc Majdandzic (GER) & Daniel Zimmermann (AUT), while Valery Gynina (RUS) & Jana Stojanova (MKD) were the girls’ champions.

Both Maxim Zhukov and Elena Pridankina have signed up for Kungens Kanna & Drottningens Pris, can they preserve the good form until then?