Tristan Flore retained the Junior Boys' Singles title in Vienna
Photo By: Remy Gros
Winners in 2011 Tristan Flore and Bernadette Szocs retained their respective Junior Boys’ and Junior Girls’ Singles titles at the Ströck European Youth Championships in Vienna on Sunday 22nd July 2012.
It is the first time since the tournament was first staged in Ruit-Stuttgart in 1955 that both titles have retained.
The two players have already written their names into the history of the annual event and both have the potential to create more history; both were born in 1995 and thus are eligible to compete in the tournament in 2013.
Only one player has ever won three times in succession; the one and only Jan-Ove Waldner won in 1981, 1982 and again in 1983.
Winning twice is more unusual for the boys than for the girls; following the success of Frenchman Tristan Flore, five teenagers have retained the Junior Boys’ Singles Singles title.
The first was Bagrat Burnazian representing the Soviet Union, he won in 1974 and in 1975; next came the Jan-Ove Waldner trilogy followed by Vladimir Samsonov of Belarus in 1992 and 1993, Germany’s Timo Boll in 1997 and 1998 with Timo Boll’s colleague, Christian Süss being the most recent. He won in 2002 and 2003.
Nine Twice Winners
However for the ladies, with the success of Romania's Bernadette Szocs, the grand total is nine but only seven have retained the title successfully.
Compatriots of Bernadette Szocs, Maria Alexandru and Olga Nemes in addition to Bettine Vriesekoop of the Netherlands each won twice but did not in consecutive years.
Maria Alexandru won in 1956 and 1958, Bettine Vriesekoop in 1977 and 1979; whilst Olga Nemes succeeded in 1983 and 1985.
Furthermore, of the players who have won the Junior Girls’ Singles twice; five are Romanian born.
In addition to Bernadette Szocs, Olga Nemes and Maria Alexandru; Carmen Crisan won in 1967 and 1968 whilst Daniela Dodean succeeded in 2005 and 2006.
Five double Junior Girls’ Singles champions for Romania; it is a remarkable record. No other country possesses a player who has achieved the feat more than once.
Representing Czechoslovakia, Ilona Vostova won in 1970 and 1971, Hungary’s Gabriela Wirth was crowned champion in 1989 and 1990; in 1998 and 1999 the honour was bestowed on Austria’s Liu Jia; whilst most recently Ukraine’s Margaryta Pesotska won in 2008 and 2009.
Romanian dominance but at the Ströck European Youth Championships in the splendid surroundings of the Werner Schlager Academy, France was the nation to the fore.
All four semi-finalists in the Junior Boys’ Singles event came from France as did two of the Cadet Boys’ Singles semi-finalists in addition to the eventual winner. The Cadet Mixed Doubles added to the French trophy haul.
Tristan Flore beat Antoine Hachard (11-7, 13-11, 11-7, 6-11, 12-10, 11-7) at the semi-final stage of the Junior Boys’ Singles event, before recovering from a three games to one deficit to beat Simon Gauzy in the final (5-11, 11-6, 4-11, 9-11, 11-8, 11-7, 11-9).
In the counterpart semi-final, Simon Gauzy had defeated Enzo Angles (11-8, 11-9, 8-11, 11-6, 11-7).
Success for Tristan Flore, Alexandre Cassin emulated in the Cadet Boys’ Singles competition.
He beat colleague Romain Ruiz in the penultimate round (11-13, 13-11, 11-7, 11-4, 11-8) before overcoming Poland’s Patryk Zatowka in the final (9-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-7, 8-11, 11-9). In the counterpart semi-final, Patryk Zatowka had overcome Russia’s Maxim Chaplygin in four straight games (11-7, 11-6, 11-9, 11-6).
Cadet Mixed Doubles
Gold for France in the Cadet Boys’ Singles and there was also gold in the Cadet Mixed Doubles where Can Akkuzu and Audrey Zarif mounted the top step of the medal podium.
They beat Romania’s Alexandru Manole and Andreea Clapa in the final (11-7, 11-9, 11-9).
Silver Medals for France
A total of five gold medals for France, having earlier in the proceedings won the Junior Boys’ Team and the Cadet Boys’ Team titles.
Also, there were two silver medals for France on the final day to add to the tally.
Marie Migot was beaten in the final of the Cadet Girls’ Singles event by Germany’s Alena Lemmer (11-4, 11-9, 11-6, 11-5), having one round earlier defeated Russia’s Maria Malanina (11-4, 11-9, 11-6, 11-5). In the adjacent semi-final, Alena Lemmer had ended the progress of England’s Tin Tin Ho (11-8, 11-8, 9-11, 10-12, 11-8, 12-10).
Meanwhile, in the Junior Boys’ Doubles event there were further medals for Tristan Flore and Simon Gauzy; perhaps somewhat against the odds they had to settle for silver.
They were beaten by Poland’s Jakub Dyas and Konrad Kulpa in the final (13-11, 10-12, 11-6, 11-5).
Three titles on the concluding day for France, a meritorious achievement and almost matched by Romania.
They secured two and a half!
Leading the field was Bernadette Szocs.
She beat Croatia’s Lea Rakovac at the semi-final stage of the Junior Girls’ Singles event (3-11, 11-6, 11-9, 11-7, 14-12) before overcoming Germany’s Petrissa Solja in the final (11-4, 11-3, 11-7, 11-6); a win that was somewhat of a revenge for Romania.
At the semi-final stage, Petrissa Solja had beaten Bernadette Szocs’ colleague, Irina Ciobanu (11-5, 11-8, 8-11, 11-3, 11-6).
Foes in the Junior Girls’ Singles event but colleagues in the Junior Girls’ Doubles, Bernadette Szocs and Petrissa Solja combined forces to strike gold; at the final hurdle they beat Serbia’s Anna Fenyvesi and Viktoria Truzsinski (11-6, 11-9, 11-9).
Cadet Girls’ Doubles
Gold at junior level, the one other success for Romania came in the younger age group category.
Adriana Diaconu and Mihaela Lupu joined forces to win the Cadet Girls’ Doubles crown. At the final hurdle they overcame 11-8, 5-11, 11-9, 11-6.
Two Titles for Petrissa Solja
Two titles on the final day for Bernadette Szocs and it was the same for Petrissa Solja; she partnered Frederick Jost to Junior Mixed Doubles success.
At the final hurdle they beat the Czech Republic’s Ondrej Bajger and Tamara Tomanova in the final (12-10, 10-12, 12-10, 11-4).
Gold for Sweden
Success for Germany and there was a title for Sweden.
Anton Kallberg and Simon Berglund won the Cadet Boys’ Doubles title; they beat Poland’s Aleksander Werecki and Patryk Zatowka in the final (11-9, 11-7, 11-8).
European Youth Championships 2012: Full Results