Jangjun Kim of Korea and Vlada Mincheva of Russia won the boys and girls titles respectively in the ITF junior tennis tournament at the DLTA Complex on Saturday.
The 16-year-old Kim showed an all-round ability and endless energy as he battled past the strongly-built Timofei Derepasko of Russia 6-7(6), 6-4, 7-5 in a battle of wits that lasted more than three hours.
It was Derepasko who was serving for the match at 5-3 in the decider, but Kim played near flawless in the climax to pull through, much to the admiration of the small gathering.
The Korean, set to break into the top-100 of the world junior rank, has already been given a taste of the men’s circuit, including the Challengers to possibly prepare him for the big league.
The quality of tennis that Kim played and the energy he showed in covering the court, sprinting all the time into position and whipping his strokes with uncanny craft were clear indication that he would be seen on the big stage soon.
In the girls final, the fleet-footed Vlada, the left-hander who could muster tremendous intensity in every point, outplayed the top seed Ashton Bowers of the USA for the loss of five games, in quick time.
Quite remarkably, the 15-year-old Vlada who has also got a lot of exposure in the women’s circuit already, did not drop more than five games to any of her five opponents in the tournament.
It may be recalled that Emma Raducanu of Britain had won this tournament in 2018 before sky rocketing to the US Open women’s title in 2021.
For the talented juniors across the world it was an excellent platform to get ready for the junior Grand Slams, and the two champions Kim and Vlada stole everyone’s heart with their energy, elegance and efficiency on court.
The results (finals):
Boys: Jangjun Kim (Kor) bt Timofei Derepasko (Rus) 6-7(6), 6-4, 7-5; Girls: Vlada Mincheva (Rus) bt Ashton Bowers (USA) 6-3, 6-2.