07 Oct 2019

Play concluded at the 2019 Europe Youth Top 10 tournament in Noordwijk on Sunday 6th October, the nation with the biggest reason to smile was Romania; they departed the town located in the west of the Netherlands with three of the four titles on offer in their luggage.

Tania Plaian won the junior girls’ event, Darius Movileanu and Elena Zaharia reserved the respective cadet boys’ and cadet girls’ podium top steps; the one prize to elude Romanian clutches was claimed by Germany’s Kay Stumper. He emerged the junior boys' champion.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

Star of the show was Elena Zaharia, she concluded matters the one player to remain unbeaten throughout the whole tournament.

On the concluding day of action she beat Hungary’s Dorottya Tolgyes (11-8, 11-8, 11-6, 10-12, 11-4), Croatia’s Hana Arapovic (11-9, 11-6, 12-10, 11-8) and Russia’s Vlada Voronina (11-5, 11-5, 11-8, 11-7) to seal the title. Germany’s Annett Kaufmann finished in second spot ahead of Vlada Voronina.

“I was very positive and I felt I could beat Vlada. I saw my opportunity and seized it. Before the match I studied carefully our final in Ostrava at the European Youth Championships; that experience helped.” Elena Zaharia

Tania Plaian

Impressive from Elena Zaharia, in the junior girls’ event life was more testing for Tania Plaian. She entered the concluding day with just one defeat against her name; on the opening day of action she had suffered at the hands of Germany’s Franziska Screiner (11-9, 9-11, 4-11, 11-9, 11-3, 11-5).

On the fina day she beat Poland’s Anna Wegrzyn (11-6, 11-6, 11-6, 11-2) prior losing to the Czech Republic’s Zdena Blaskova (13-11, 11-6, 11-7, 10-12, 16-14). Crucially, she recovered to beat Jamila Laurenti (4-11, 11-7, 11-8, 9-11, 11-6, 9-11, 11-8) and thus reserved the top stop of the podium.

“I had bad performance at the European Youth Championships. I had to prove myself I could play better. It put a lot of pressure on me; when I entered the venue and when I approached the table, I knew I could win. I felt the ball, I felt very good here. Everything came into the place.” Tania Plaian

Anna Wegrzyn, who also lost to Zdena Blaskova (11-5, 11-9, 11-2, 11-8) finished in third position behind Jamila Laurenti.

Darius Movileanu

One defeat entering the concluding day of play, it was the same for Darius Movileanu. On the second day of play had lost to Poland’s Milosz Redzimski (11-8, 11-8, 11-7, 11-6). One day later, he accounted for the Czech Republic’s Simon Belik (12-10, 3-11, 11-8, 11-7, 8-11, 11-8), Germany’s Mike Hollo (11-6, 8-11, 5-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-8) and Belgium Louis Laffineur (7-11, 5-11, 13-11, 13-11, 11-6, 13-11) to seal the title. Iulian Chirita, also from Romania finished in second place behind Simon Belik.

“I came here believing I could win the tournament but I knew it would only happen if I kept my focus and approached every match seriously. You do not have time for mistakes when the best players are on list.” Daruis Movileanu

Kay Stumper

Likewise Kay Stumper had one defeat against his name prior to commencing the last day of play. On the opening day of action, he had lost to Belgium’s Adrien Rassenfosse (11-9, 13-15, 7-11, 11-9, 8-11, 11-4, 11-9). On the concluding day he experienced a further defeat he lost to Frenchman Vincent Picard; however wins against Poland’s Samuel Kulczycki (11-8, 11-9, 11-9, 5-11, 11-7) and Csaba Andras ((12-10, 11-8, 11-6, 11-2) proved sufficient to secure the top prize.

“The match against Adrien was the really hard one. I lost it 9-11 in decisive game. I could not sleep that night. It haunted me.” Kay Stumper

Samuel Kulczycki finished in second place followed by Frenchman Lilian Bardet.

2019 Europe Youth Top 10: full results and final positions

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General News Elena Zaharia Kay Stumper Tania Plaian Darius Movileanu