Thursday, July 18, 2024

Great Britain 14U boys’ team reach second Summer Cup final in history

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Great Britain’s 14U boys’ team finished runners-up in the prestigious Tennis Europe Summer Cup in Valencia, while the girls team ended the weekend fifth in Loano.

The Tennis Europe Summer Cup is Europe’s longest-running junior team tennis event – bringing together the best players and nations across the continent for team events in four different age groups, from 12U to 18U.

The 14U Finals events were the first to get underway last week, with the remaining competitions set for August.

The performances from both British teams mean that they have qualified for the ITF Junior World Tennis Finals in Poland from 5-10 August.

The boys’ team – including Eric Lorimer, Niall Pickerd Barua and Scott Watson – battled their way to the final before losing out to Spain 2-0.

The fourth seeded Brits knocked out Czech Republic in the opening round thanks to singles victories from Watson and Lorimer, before moving on to defeat Netherlands 2-1 in the semi-finals, with Watson and Pickerd Barua edging the deciding doubles rubber.

It was only the second time in the tournaments history that Great Britain had reached the final of the 14U event – last winning it in 1995.

Captain Richard Plews was full of praise for his team after a strong week: “The boys have grown as competitors over the two weeks of qualifying and finals on the clay in Valencia.  

“They were hard, fast clay courts in hot windy conditions, which tested both the technical and tactical skills and challenged their competitive resolve and fight. The boys responded fantastically well, culminating in GB’s second appearance in the Summer Cup final in 50 years of competition.

“They go to Prostejov in August for the World Finals with the clay court credentials to compete for the title.”

All three of the British players have come through the National Age Groups Programme and are due to start at the LTA National Academy in Loughborough.

Having come through qualifying in France, the 14U GB girls’ team – featuring Daniella Britton, Megan Knight and Liv Zingg – were defeated by the eventual champions Czech Republic in the first round of the Finals.

The Brits went on to claim 2-1 victories over both Romania and Slovakia to seal their fifth place finish at this year’s competition.

14U GB girls’ team captain Kate Warne-Holland said: “With six teams qualifying from Summer Cup for the Junior World Finals, we are delighted to secure a place in one of the most prestigious U14 events in the calender. 

“Two of the girls were born in 2011 and are still quite young for the age group, which makes the achievement impressive and with the experience of this year they set themselves up very well for next year.

“Big thanks to my assistant Nic Jones, who was the mastermind behind the very impressive doubles performances and supported the girls brilliantly. We all had a great time and can’t wait for Worlds.”

Summer Cup schedule

12 & Under: Qualifying Rounds – 25-28 July 2024
12 & Under: Final Rounds – 8-11 August 2024

16 & Under – Qualifying Rounds – 31 July-2 August 2024
16 & Under – Final Rounds – 5-7 August 2024

18 & Under – Qualifying Rounds – 31 July-2 August 2024
18 & Under – Final Rounds – 5-7 August 2024

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