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The Tropheys

The Boys U19 Finals

French TV (from 16.00)

Day 1    Day 2    Day 3

En Bref, #3
Glorious Fooood

Photos # 4


I had a tough tournament from the first round, that's where I see the difference between U17 and U19. From the first round, the standard is so high.

Today, I knew that Richie was playing well, I saw the results he's been having, so I was expecting a tough battle, and it was so hard in the first two games.

But maybe a bit of experience, I played the big points well, and then the physical fitness played its part in the 3rd.

I wanted to thank the tournament organisation, in particular Fred Lecomte, and also we all have a tought for his wife, Michèle, that passed away last summer.

U19 Girls
[3/4] Julia Lecoq 3-2 [1] Melissa Alves
                             11/6, 4/11, 4/11, 11/9, 11/3
Place 3/4
[2] Nele Gilis (Bel) 3-0 [3/4] Caroline Sayegh (Ger)
                         11-8 11-6 11-9

U19 Boys

[3/4] Oliver Holland (Eng) v [9/16] Richie Fallows (Eng)                   11/8, 11/9, 11/1
Place 3/4
[2] Tom Ford (Eng) 3-1 [1] Tom de Mulder (Bel)
                           4-11 11-4 11-4 11-6


You can't help feeling sorry for Melissa, not to take anything away from Julia. But it became obvious from the middle of the 4th that Melissa was suffering again from that old recurring injury under her foot.

Julia took a very good start, profiting from a Melissa that was a bit slow off the blocks. But slowly, Melissa charged her guns with heavy power and really hit hard and with an excellent lenght, pinning down her opponent to the back wall, and finishing nicely at the front.

But after that, her movement got sluggier and you  know the rest.

Mind you, Julia was not as error proned today that she can be, that's an excellent sign that she is maturing, only 11 tins the whole match, she is on the right track. That way, her nice shots were good enough to put Melissa under pressure, and a better percentage game, less risks.

We all know how hard it is to play an injured player, and Julia did extremely not to tremble. She kept hitting hard and low, Melissa couldn't get to the ball in time, and the Parisian girl takes her first French Open title for her last participation, I'm told she is only the 4th French girl ever to take that title, and takes over Camille Serme, title holder in 2007.

U17 Girls
[2] Emilia Soini (Fin) 3-0 [1] Kristyna Alexova (Cze)
                                 5/11, 3/11, 11/5
Place 3/4
[5/8] Lucy Beecroft (Eng) bt  [3/4] Anna Kimberley (Eng)
                                11-7 7-11 7-11 11-7 11-4

U17 Boys
[5/8] George Parker (Eng) 3-1 [2] Claudio Pinto (Por)
                                 8/11, 11/6, 11/9, 11/1
Place 3/4
[1] Manuel Wanner 3-2 [9/16] Auguste Dussourd (Fra)
                                 3-11 11-6 11-7 9-11 11-6

Only hear say for those two. The girls' match was all about fair play apparently, but it's the Finish girl that takes it rather easily.

As for the boys, I'm told that from the second game, poor Claudio was flat as a pan cake, and turned as white as a sheet. I'm sure he was not at his top physically...

U15 Boys
[3/4] Blal Nawar (Egy) 3-2 [3/4] James Peach (Eng)
   11/9, 3/11, 11/8, 9/11, 11/7
Place 3/4
[9/16] Mohanad Haikal (Egy) 3-0 [1] Enzo Corigliano (Fra)     11/6,  11/7, 11/4

U15 Girls
[2] Tinne Gilis (Bel) v [3/4] Georgina KENNEDY (Eng)                       12/10, 11/9, 11/8
Place 3/4
[1] Elin Harlow (Wal) 3-1 [3/4] Laura Gamblin
                                11/8, 11/9, 13/15, 11/9


For the girls, couldn't move from the office, but my photographer Patrick Le Fur told me that Georgina was the one doing the game, while the Belgium girl was retrieving everything, squeezing errors out of Georgina.

Which confirms what I saw yesterday, I remember writing about Georgina making a lot of unforced errors in the first, then cutting down. I guess that the pressure from Tinne was probably higher today game wise...

Not an empty seat for the boys' final (not much left for the girls either to be honest), with the crowd initially not taking side, but gradually supporting the English boy more and more vocally, especially when he clawed back from 2/1 down, giving it all on there.

It has to be said that the constant victory screeeeeaaaaming from the young Egyptians on the English errors had a lot to do with most of the audience taking side for the English boy. Maybe something the parents/coaches could have a think about...

James kept his calm from the begining to the end, although he was really behind in the decider, 6/2, 7/3, as Blal was taking advange of a little drop of energy from his opponent, finding some lovely attacks and great length. The English boy run an awful lot and it looked like the end was near, but he dug in, fumes and all, to claw back to 6/7, but that took the last of whatever little he had left.

Calmely, very professionally, Blal stringed the last points, to set up his first match ball 10/6, to finally close it 11/7.

With complete dignity and calm, he shook his opponent's hand, the refs, and had none of the abitoverthetop his supporters had.

Good for him.

U13 Girls
[3/4] Perein Abou Seada (Egy) 3-0 [5/8] Nour Yasser (Egy)                                        11/9, 11/9, 11/9
Place 3/4

[5/8] Salma El Melegy (Egy) 3-2 [5/8] Jasmine Hutton (Eng)                      9/11, 6/11, 11/5, 115/, 12/10


It's only to make a nice play on word, as the intensity on court was high enough between two close friends.

Perein, very intense, and physically stronger than Nour - who is still quite solid for an under 13, was hitting the ball with an impressive strength and length. Nour was doing her best to counter attack her friends cannon balls, and still placed some lovely shots.

But as Perein has got a lovely trickle boast that comes on support of her power, she would have been hard to beat, even by somebody from the next age group...

U13 Boys
 [9/16] Mostafa Montaser (Egy) 3-1 [1] Victor Crouin (Fra)                              11/7, 7/11, 11/4, 11/1

Place 3/4
Aly Mohamed Hassan (Egy) 3-0 [3/4] Tom Walsh (Eng)
                                     11/8, 11/6, 11/3


It was weird to go back to "normal 12 years old" boys after seeing very mature/strong/tall girls of the same age.

When I saw Mostafa win yesterday, I had the feeling that he wouldn't stop in the semis. After destroying his compatriots one after the other, he was on a roll and just outplayed Victor today.

Little Victor (his shorts could be long pants really) just couldn't pass the Egyptian volleying, apart from the second game, where Mostafa was a bit less dominant on the T.

The 4th was a squash lesson, the Egyptian stringing the points up to 10/0, simply by placing the ball accurately at the front, volleying beautifully, and counterattacking to crown it all..

What was a bit surprising is that from the first rally, Mostafa was raising a close fist in sign of victory after each point won, I was therefore expecting a gigantic explosion at the end.

But no, he shook his opponent's hand, thanked his God, and walked out, bless him...



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