Archive for the 'Gianni Mina' Category


Laura Robson and Gianni Mina advance in the Junior Open.

Rafael Nadal may be gone from the men’s event but his influence lives on in the juniors in the presence of Australian Ben Mitchell, who took out the top seed and world No.1 Daniel Berta of Sweden 62 61 on Wednesday to reach the quarterfinals.

The 17-year-old practised twice with Nadal in the build-up to the boys’ event and the effects were clear to see as Mitchell destroyed the hopes of Berta in stunning fashion. “I didn’t expect it to be that easy,” Mitchell said. “But I was very solid out there and moving well and just making him make too many mistakes.”

Mitchell was roped in by Nadal last weekend to help him prepare for his singles matches, something that came as a big surprise to the Australian. “My coach knows I get quite nervous so he only told me two minutes before we got on the court,” Mitchell said. “Hitting with Nadal I was kind of beyond nervous. But knowing I can keep up with Rafa, going toe to toe, gave me a huge confidence boost. I was thinking if I can keep up with Nadal then surely I can rally with anyone in the juniors.”

Mitchell said it was hard to explain just how much power and spin Nadal could produce. “I was hitting the ball straight to him and he was pretty much running me ragged,” he said. “I wanted him to give me the drinks signal, but it didn’t happen for about half an hour. He was quite nice. The second time we hit, he said hello, how are you and he said good luck for the tournament.”

Third seed Jason Kubler suffered a surprise defeat to Sean Berman, going down 64 62. Kubler had been one of the favourites to win here but was outplayed by Berman, who at 17 is one year older than Kubler.

For the second match in a row, French second seed Gianni Mina came from a set down to advance, beating Arthur De Greef of Belgium 36 61 60. Mina now plays another Australian, James Duckworth, who edged out Britain’s Oliver Golding 76(6) 75.

In the girls’ event, top seed Timea Babos of Hungary survived a test before beating Anna Arina Marenko of Russia 64 67(2) 61 to reach the last eight. “It was tough, she played really good,” Babos said. “I was playing really good as well, I’d give myself 75 percent which is usually enough, but today she played really well as well.”

Babos, who trains at the Gosling academy just outside London, said she was not feeling any added pressure from being the No.1 seed. “That’s the first time I’ve been top seed both in singles and doubles,” she said. “I really enjoy it. Some people think it’s pressure but I think it’s even a little advantage because everyone is thinking that they have to play well because they’re playing the top seed.”

Babos now plays Czech qualifier Kristyna Pliskova but in the semifinals, she could yet play former junior Wimbledon champion Laura Robson, who cruised into the last eight with a 63 63 win over Cristina Dinu of Romania.

“I don’t really look at the draw. I’m not thinking, oh, semifinals it could be Laura Robson, because there are so many good players here with no ranking even,” she said.

Third seed Daria Gavrilova of Russia recovered from a slow start to beat Grace Sari Ysidora of Indonesia 26 62 63, while sixth seed Karolina Pliskova, the sister of Kristyna, also went through with a 61 64 win over Risa Ozaki of Japan.


Canada’s Gabriela Dabrowski joins Gianni Mina in the winners circle!

France and Canada split the 2009 Orange Bowl singles titles as Gianni Mina and Gabriela Dabrowski were crowned champions in Key Biscayne yesterday, winning the last Grade A event of the year on the ITF Junior Circuit. It was a curious fact that in the long history of the Dunlop Orange Bowl their only forerunners on the Roll of Honour, Guy Forget and Carling Basset, both triumphed in 1982.

17-year-old top seed Mina, the double of Gael Monfils, managed to take his first Grade A trophy of the year, after two wins on clay at the Grade 2 Istres and Grade 1 Beaulieu sur Mer, by defeating his friend and doubles partner Arthur De Greef of Belgium in the final round, with a 64 64 victory. Dropping just one set en route to the title, the Parisian confirmed his tennis has improved a lot on hard courts.

World number five Mina started the match fighting hard and broke De Greef in the ninth game with a down-the-line passing shot to take a 5-4 lead that secured him the first set. Leading 4-0 in the second, Mina appeared just a bit tired after having run a lot in the fifth game and let De Greef come back to 5-4. But with a formidable forehand, Mina took the decisive point, winning the match and yelling “Vamos”. “I played the best match of the tournament on Sunday,” said Mina. “I’m very happy to enjoy a Grade A event, now I want to win a Grand Slam.”

Although she had a lower ITF ranking of 63, unseeded Gabriela Dabrowski of Canada took revenge on top seed and world number one Kristina Mladenovic with a dramatic 63 26 75 win to win the girls’ singles title. 17-year-old Dabrowski, from Ottawa, who was beaten by the French girl in the 2008 US Open first round, developed her tactics and strategy smoothly, hitting heavy deep backhands and drawing her opponent into plenty of mistakes. After having lost the first set 6-3, the Roland Garros champion recovered her serve in the second one and took a 5-4 lead in the third, when tenacious Dabrowski began to increase the pressure from the baseline, surprising the French girl once again with powerful backhands, then converting her only match-point to capture the Orange Bowl trophy.

Despite injuring her knee at the Yucatan Cup last month, the Canadian has played 17 matches in the last 20 days. Ralph Platz’s pupil was runner-up in Merida, losing to Lauren Davis of the USA in the final, and reached the semifinals at the Eddie Herr Championships just a week ago. In Key Biscayne, talented Dabrowski showed off her natural athleticism and a great maturity during her matches, and she looked ready to move on to the professional tour soon. “I had no expectations at the Orange Bowl and now I’m really very happy,” said Dabrowski . “I have tried to play aggressively in all my matches even if I didn’t enjoy my best form.”

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