13 Mar 2017

Imposing performances, Germany won the Junior Boys’ Team and Junior Girls’ Team titles at the 2017 Italian Junior and Cadet Open in Lignano on Saturday 11th March.

Both victories were somewhat against expectations, on each occasion, occupying the second seeded position in the competition; they beat the top seeds in the final to secure the top step of the medal podium.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

Mainstay of German success in the Junior Boys’ Team event was Tobias Hippler.

After a three-nil penultimate round win had been recorded against the Italy ‘B’ trio comprising Matteo Cerza, Gabriele Piciulin and Carlo Rossi, the no.15 seeds, the same margin of victory was recorded in opposition to Italy ‘A’, the top seeds, in the final.

Tobias Hippler beat both Daniele Pinto (6-11, 11-6, 11-5, 13-11) and Matteo Mutti (11-8, 11-6, 11-7), with Cedric Meissner securing the one further win by overcoming Antonino Amato in the third match of the engagement (17-19, 11-7, 6-11, 11-9, 11-8). The one Italian win was gained in the second match of the fixture when Matteo Mutti beat Meng Fanbo (11-4, 7-11, 11-2, 12-10).

“Our goal was to win a medal. In the final we knew we had a very difficult task because the Italian team won the European Championships last year and here in Lignano they were the top seeds. We played altogether very well. The turning point of the final was the win of Meissner in the match between the players number three of the teams. Amato beat me in the singles and he is a strong opponent. I was disappointed after that elimination in the quarter-final. Instead the silver medal in the doubles was a good outcome, because Amato and Pinto form one of the best couples out there”, Tobias Hippler

In the opposite half of the draw, Italy ‘A’ had halted the progress of Austria, the no.10 seeds; a three-one win being the order of proceedings with Maciej Kolodziejczyk able to depart Lignano with head held high. He was the one Austrian winner, in the second match of the fixture he accounted for Matteo Mutti (13-11, 11-9, 12-10).

The winner of the Junior Boys’ Singles titles two days earlier, he remained unbeaten in the Junior Boys’ Team event.

Day Four: titles decided in the Team events at the 2017 Italian Junior and Cadet Open
Meanwhile, for Jennie Wolf, the winner of the Junior Girls’ Singles title, she was not quite able to match the achievement of Maciej Kolodziejczyk.

She beat both Orsolya Feher (11-4, 12-10, 7-11, 11-8) and Leonie Hartbrich (11-9, 16-14, 8-11, 11-8) in a three-one penultimate round German success against Hungary, the no.4 seeds but in the final against Serbia, the top seeds, after accounting for Sabina Surjan in five games (10-12, 18-16, 11-6, 1-11, 11-8), experienced defeat in the fourth match of the engagement when facing Izabela Lupulesku (8-11, 11-7, 11-6, 9-11, 11-6).

Tense moments, to the rescue came Lotta Rose. In the second match of the fixture she had experienced an agonising defeat when confronting Izabela Lupulesku (7-11, 11-5, 10-12, 11-3, 14-12). In the concluding contest she overcame Sabina Surjan in an almost equally dramatic contest (5-11, 11-6, 11-5, 5-11, 11-5) to secure the title.

The one further win for Germany came in the third match of the fixture when, in the only match not to be decided in five games, Laura Tiefenbrunner beat Dragana Vignjevic (11-9, 11-8, 11-9).

“This was really a win for the whole team, because all the athletes played very well. In the final Serbia was the top seed and we were the second, so we were not obliged to win. We were two-one up and I played against Izabela Lupulesku. I could have won but Izabela played in a consistent way and I could not beat her. We are a team and Lotta Rose secured the final win. I close this Open with two gold medals, which increases very much my self-confidence. Here in Lignano I played the best tournament of my life and I go back home very happy”, Jennie Wolf.

Two wins from Izabela Lupulesku in the final; in the penultimate round it had been the same. She overcame Thailand’s Monapsorn Saritapirak (11-9, 11-6, 11-9) and Nadezhda Bogdanova of Belarus (11-8, 7-11, 4-11, 11-6, 11-8) as a three-one win was posted against the no.3 seeds. The one further Serbian success was secured by Sabina Surjan, in the third match of the engagement, she defeated Marharyta Baltushite, also from Belarus (12-10, 11-6, 10-12, 11-7).

Proceedings conclude on Sunday 12th March with play in the Cadet Boys’ Singles, Cadet Girls’ Singles, Cadet Boys’ Doubles, Cadet Girls’ Doubles, Hopes Boys’ Singles and Hopes Girls’ Singles events.

Day Two: 2017 Italian Junior and Cadet Open
Photos: Domenico Vallorini

World Junior Circuit 2017 Italian Junior & Cadet Open Tobias Hippler Izabela Lupulesku Maciej Kolodziejczyk Cedric Meissner Meng Fanbo Jennie Wolf Laura Tiefenbrunner Lotta Rose

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