Wednesday 20 Feb 2019

Asian Stars on the Horizon


The Asian 14 & under team, comprising 10 players from 6 different countries, have completed a successful five-week trip to Europe, which saw them win 8 out of the thirteen finals contested on the ITF Tour to Young Stars tournaments, part of the Tennis Europe 14 & under circuit.

Korea Republic’s Seon Yong Han of the ITF/ATF Asian team got off to a flying start at the BNP Paribas tournament in Paris, securing the boys’ singles title with a 75 26 64 win over ITF/COSAT South American team player Thiago Agustin Tirante, of Argentina, in the finals, a feat which he repeated over the three following weeks. In Paris, Han then paired up with teammate and compatriot Minjong Park to reach the semifinals of the doubles event.


Han’s second victory over Tirante came the following week in Velp, Netherlands where the players were seeded three and six respectively, and a 36 60 75 victory clinched the finals for the Korean. The Han and Park duo then consolidated their first week’s performance and won the boys’ doubles title defeating the Italian pairing of Marco Furlanetto and Michele Vianello 63 63 in the finals.


ATF teammates Arthur Craig Pantino, of the Philippines and Bu Yunchaokete, of China had previously suffered a defeat by the Italians in the semifinals going down 26 60 [11-9].


The following week, Han’s hat-trick 62 62 win over Tirante took place at the Balle Mimosa Loire-Atlantique tournament in Nantes, France where, again partnered with Park, he also lifted the boys’ doubles trophy after a tight encounter with the COSAT team pairing of Brazilians Joao Ferreira and Matheus Pucinnelli de Almeida 64 57 [10-6].


The No. 1 seed Han’s final showdown with Tirante, in Dueren, Germany saw the Korean secure his fourth consecutive boys’ singles with a 76(6) 67(4) 63 win. Han and Park’s third doubles’ title was at the expense of their teammates Pantino and Yunchaokete when they recorded a 62 61 victory in the finals.


The fifth week in Hasselt saw Pantino and Mirgiiaz Mirdzhaliev of Kyrgyzstan triumph over second seeds Ilya Snitari of Macedonia and Luciano Tacchi of Argentina 76(2) 76(3) in the boys’ doubles finals to capture their first title together.


On the girls’ side, Jiaqi Wang of China and Mahak Jain of India both reached the quarterfinals of the girls’ singles in Nantes. Wang, partnered with South African Lara van der Merwe, also progressed to the semifinals of the girls’ doubles at the same event before bowing out to No. 3 seeds Himari Sato and Naho Sato of Japan.


The following week in Dueren, Jain also reached the quarterfinals of the girls’ singles but lost to eventual winner Valentina Ivanov of New Zealand 63 75. Jain’s doubles partner, Shivani Amineni, won the girls’ Consolation singles event with an impressive 63 75 win over No. 1 seed Alessia Truden of Italy.


Punnin Kovapitukted of Thailand matched Amineni’s success winning the girls’ Consolation singles at the final tournament of the tour in Hasselt, Belgium when she beat home player and No. 2 seed Michelle van Mol with a score of 06 64 [10-4] in the finals

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