by Simon Daish
Qualifying for the Under-19 Boys’ Singles knock-out stage as a group winner, Kay Stumper showed great character in the Round of 16 as he recovered a slow start to beat Poland’s Milosz Redzimski (9-11, 11-6, 11-3, 11-8). Stumper required an even greater comeback one round later, overturning a 0-2 deficit to see off another Polish counterpart in Samuel Kulczycki 3-2 (12-14, 7-11, 11-9, 11-3, 11-5).
World number one Stumper booked his spot in the final with a four-game win against France’s Thibault Poret (11-3, 8-11, 11-4, 11-8), setting up a title clash with Poret’s compatriot Alexis Lebrun. Prevailing over younger brother Felix earlier in the day (11-8, 12-14, 11-9, 11-7), Alexis Lebrun fought until the bitter end against Stumper but ultimately couldn’t keep pace with the German star (11-6, 11-6, 11-6).
“It was a very difficult tournament for me. In the quarter-finals, I was losing 0-2, but I felt good and confident, and I knew I could win. I am very happy because many good players came here and I emerged the winner,” said Kay Stumper
A young talent who continues to light up the international scene, Romania’s Iulian Chirita added yet another trophy to his collection after emerging ahead of the pack in the Under-15 Boys’ Singles.
Opening with a devastating performance against Poland’s Samuel Michna (11-3, 11-4, 11-5), Chirita avoided drama in his following two fixtures against Germany’s Lleyton Ullmann (11-4, 11-5, 11-13, 11-6) and Russia’s Ilia Koniukhov (11-1, 11-6, 11-9). Facing his most formidable opponent at the final hurdle, Chirita handled the occasion extremely well as he powered past fellow compatriot Dragos Alexandru Bujor in straight games (11-7, 11-8, 11-2). With the result confirmed, Chirita lifted an Under-15 trophy on the WTT Youth Series stage for the fifth time.
“I am very happy with the win and have enjoyed playing here throughout the tournament. I beat some very good players. I am also happy because I won gold with Dragos in the doubles event,” said Iulian Chirita
Standing opposite one another in the singles final, Chirita and Bujor combined to Under-15 Boys’ Doubles success earlier in the evening. The Romanian pair dropped just one game on the opening day and avoided further setbacks on day two. Austria’s Julian Rzihauschek and Petr Hodina proved unable to dent Chirita and Bujor’s ambitions in the semi-finals (11-3, 11-2, 11-7), and the Romania pair triumphed over the host nation’s Mateusz Sakowicz and Rafal Formela soon after (11-7, 11-9, 11-9) to announce themselves as champions.
“Many good players took part in this tournament, but we managed to win in the doubles, and we are very happy about it. I lost the singles final to Iulian, but we still held the two highest places in the end, so there’s nothing to be upset about,” said Dragos Alexandru Bujor
Kay Stumper also profited on the doubles front, partnering with Daniel Rinderer to Under-19 Boys’ Doubles glory. The German pair endured a challenging return to the table as Poland’s Maciej Kubik and Samuel Kulczycki fell just short to Stumper and Rinderer in a penultimate round thriller (4-11, 11-4, 11-9, 8-11, 12-10). The number one ranked pair ended their campaign in style, outclassing second-ranked opponents Darius Movileanu and Eduard Ionescu of Romania 3-0 (11-6, 11-9, 11-5) to claim the honours.
“I’m glad that, together with Kay, we managed to win the doubles event. In the semi-finals we had a very difficult match against the Polish team, the last points decided the victory; that’s why the win here tastes very good,” said Daniel Rinderer
Following a one-day break, the drama continues at the Olympic Training Center Cetniewo on Friday 22nd October with the opening stages of the Girls’ events. From 0930 to 1750 local time, the play focuses on deciding the knock-out draw line-up in the Under-15 and Under-19 Girls’ Singles. Doubles action from the same age groups rounds out the day with 16 pairs from both events fighting it out for passage to the semi-finals.
For event details of WTT Youth Star Contender Wladyslawowo, click here.