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Lower Level Tennis Weekly Review

I am not sure how much interest there might be in this, but I thought it would trial it as an idea. The idea is a weekly review of the ITF and junior tennis winners and results in a single article. There is obviously plenty of coverage of the main tour, but very little mention of the lower tours. To begin with, it will only cover women's tennis at ITF and both boys and girls at junior levels. However, if there is interest in this series, I may look to include men's ITF and possibly even Challengers in the future. So, here is the first article in this series.


ITF $75k Events

Alexandra Dulgheru was the big winner last week, lifting her second title of the year in the $75k event in Dubai. The sixth seeded Romanian dropped just one set all week and saw off Kimiko Date-Krumm 6-3, 6-4 in the final. Vitalia Diatchenko continued her good recent form that has seen her reach the QF in Moscow and win the $125k title in Taipei with a run to the SF in Dubai, which puts her top of the Road to Singapore rankings, albeit at this very early stage. However, she will be hoping that the problems that caused her to take two medical timeouts are nothing serious.

Alexandra Dulgheru won the title in Dubai last week

ITF $50k Events

In Australia, Chinese player, Fangzhou Liu, won her first ever career title with a 6-4, 6-3 victory over Japan’s Risa Ozaki in the Bendigo $50k final. The 18-year old, who reached the final in Nan Chang earlier in the year, also recorded good wins against Daria Gavrilova and Misa Eguchi on her run to the title.

ITF $25k Events

Evgeniya Rodina made it back-to-back titles in Sharm El Sheikh as she continues her rise back up the rankings after two years of injury problems. Her 5-7, 6-3, 6-2 victory over second seed, Laura Siegemund, for the second week running, sealed her fifth $25k title of the year and lifted her to #132 in the world. Back-to-back finals for Siegemund also sees the 26-year old German break the top 150 for the first time in her career.

In Mumbai, third seed Marina Melnikova clinched her first title for six years with a straight sets win over Tadeja Majeric in the final. Despite the long wait and two final defeats this year, there appeared to be few nerves for Melnikova as she cruised to a 6-2, 7-6 victory. However, she could easily have been beaten in the SF after Emily Webley-Smith served for the match in the second set and led by a break in the decider. There was little for the home crowd to cheer in the singles, but Ankita Raina was victorious in the doubles with her partner Jia-Jing Lu as they beat top seeds Nicha Lertpiaksinchai and Peangtarn Plipuech in the final.

Ana Vrljic won her first title of 2014 in Minsk after seeing off the challenge of Ekaterina Alexandrova in an epic battle. Both players had opportunities in a tight final set, but it was the Croatian that eventually prevailed 3-6, 6-4, 7-6. One name to keep an eye on may be 16-year old Vera Lapko, who reached the QF in her first ever senior tournament on hard courts.

ITF $10k Events

15-year old Nina Alibalic was the most notable winner in the $10k events last week as she lifted the title in Antalya after a 6-3, 6-0 win over Kristina Schmiedlova to become the 7th youngest ITF champion of 2014. Due to weather delays, she had to win three matches in two days to lift the title.

Elsewhere, there were titles for Amy Bowtell (Helsinki), Natalija Kostic (Heraklion), Silvia Njiric (Casablanca), Olga Saez Larra (Castellon) and Natela Dzalamidze (Sousse).


The week’s highest profile junior tournament was the 2014 Seogwipo Asia Oceania International Junior Championships, held in South Korea. It was an event dominated by the top seeds with South Korea’s Yunseong Chung and China’s Shilin Xu lifting the boy’s and girl’s titles respectively as top seeds. Both players were so dominant that neither lost a set all week with Chung defeating Japan’s Naoto Kai 6-1, 7-5 in the final, while Xu made it 17 consecutive junior victories with a 7-6, 6-2 victory over Wushuang Zheng in the final that cemented her place at the top of the junior rankings.

Shilin Xu continued her excellent form at junior level

Elsewhere, sixteenth seed Edan Leshem won the boy’s title in the Grade 2 event in Israel, while the highly rated 15-year old Russian, Evgeniya Levashova, won the girl’s edition, coming from a set down in the final to beat Valeriya Yushchenko 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 in Ra’anana. In Boca Raton, there were Grade 4 titles for Britain’s Californian-based Ryan Storrie in the boy’s and unseeded 14-year old American, Carson Branstine, in the girl’s.


  1. I like it. Obviously would like more detail but having tried to research some of these events in the past, sometimes all you can go on is the basic scores and you have to join the dots. Appreciate the effort and will try to read it regularly.

    1. Cheers Scott. Will hopefully look to add more detail in future weeks, but wanted to try and gauge the level of interest before putting too many hours into the work...

    2. I like it as well, good job.

  2. Great article! We will be linking to this great article on our website. Keep up the good writing.
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