The tennis competition at the first annual Youth Olympic Games wrapped up today in Singapore, with two unseeded players taking the singles gold medals. Russia's Daria Gavrilova, the reigning Eddie Herr champion and 2009 French Open finalist, came from a set down in her gold medal match with China's Saisai Zheng to post a 2-6, 6-0, 6-2 victory. Zheng, who was also unseeded, beat No. 3 seed Timea Babos in the semifinals, while Gavrilova had taken out No. 1 seed Elina Svitolina of Ukraine in the second round. The bronze medal went to No. 7 Jana Cepelova of Slovakia, who beat Babos 6-2, 7-5.
Zheng did get a gold medal however, as she and Hao Chen Tang won the doubles competition. The unseeded pair defeated 2010 Australian Open girls champions Cepelova and Chantal Skamlova, the fourth seeds, 6-4, 3-6, 10-4. The top-seeded team of Babos and An-Sophie Mestach of Belgium(apparently doubles partners did not have to be from the same country) took the bronze medal in girls doubles.
Juan Sebastian Gomez of Colombia surprised No. 6 seed Yuki Bhambri of India 6-7(4), 7-6(4), 4-1 retired. Gomez, 14th in the ITF World Junior rankings, wasn't seeded, but the story about the gold medal match projects he will now be No. 1 in the world. Gavrilova will also ascend to the top spot with her win, with both players likely to be the top seeds in New York next month. The points received at the Youth Olympic Games are the same as a Grade A, with bonus points mirroring the junior slams.
No. 2 seed Damir Dzumhur of Bosnia took the bronze medal with a 7-5, 6-1 win over unseeded Victor Baluda of Russia.
Making it a clean sweep for unseeded winners of gold medals, the doubles competition was won by Great Britain's Oliver Golding and Jiri Vesely of the Czech Republic. They beat another unseeded team, Baluda and Mikhail Biryukov of Russia, 6-3, 6-1. The bronze medal in boys doubles went to Slovakia's Filip Horansky and Jozef Kovalik.
The ITF Olympic tennis site provided outstanding coverage of the event throughout the week, with blogs, articles and an extensive photo gallery.
Beatrice Capra and Tim Smyczek, the winners of the USTA's US Open wildcard tournament this week, were the subject of several articles. Sandra Harwitt covered the event for the Miami Herald, Josh Rey provided his usual detailed coverage for usta.com, and Wilson did a brief interview with Capra after the match which is available on YouTube.
Saturday, August 21, 2010