David Marcus of sponsor OTZ Sporting Goods has provided his second and final report on the Junior Davis Cup European qualifying in Israel. Click here for his first. I am heading out to see some of the 14s Zonals this afternoon here in Kalamazoo, but later tonight I will post on all the pro events going on today across the country, as well as the Women's US Open National Playoffs. Thanks to David for giving us a glimpse of the young European standouts and for supporting zootennis too!
Junior Davis Cup/ European Qualifying
report by David Marcus
Friday at the qualifying tournament for the European Junior Davis Cup on the clay courts in Herzliya, Israel, the Serbian team showed why they will be a force in the tennis world for years to come. The No. 1 seeded team from Serbia faced off against the home team, the No. 2 seeded Israel. Pedya Krstin the No, 3 ranked player in Europe blanked Israel’s Igor Smilansky (No. 17 in Europe) 6-0, 6-0. Hitting laser backhands down the line and powerful forehands from all corners of the court, Krstin, who now plays with a yellow OTZ band dampener on his racquet, dominated the play from start to finish.
Next up Serbia’s Miki Jankovic the No. 2 ranked player in Europe, defeated Israel’s No. 1 seed (11 in Europe) Or Ram-Harel 6-2,6-1. Harel had no answer for Jankovic’s strong topspin serve and volley game. Displaying an imaginative variety of shots, Jankovic, 15, hit drop shots from many angles and effectively counterpunched by ripping several crosscourt forehand winners past a lunging Harel. “I played pretty well today," said Jankovic in a post-game interview. "Next week our goal is to defeat this year’s favorites, France and the UK, and capture the European Junior Davis Cup."
Serbian junior team coach Mico Ratkovic has been working with Jankovic since he was eight years old. “Miki is a great athlete and he has a confident and calm approach to tennis,” said Ratkovic. “He trains hard and has developed a potent mix of tennis shots. His excellent racquet preparation allows him to hit winners from many spots on the court. We travel together to tournaments 32-33 weeks a year and we maintain a very good relationship. I think he can go a long way, but the next two years are very critical and time will tell.”
Saturday, July 31, 2010