Our students compete in ITF Juniours

October 5-9 in Jelgava took place ITF Juniors tournamet “Jelgava Cup”.

Liepaja Tennis sport school was represented by Dāvids Špaks and Alise Vindiga.Dāvids Špaks in the boys competition began with the Qualifiers, but unfortunately in the first game he lost with 6-4 2-6 9-11 to Nojus Poska (Lithuania). And in the Doubles 1st round, where he played together with Alexi Khamrotau (Belarus) with 5-7 7-6(6) 3-10 they lost to pair from Belarus – Anton Kastsenich and Daniil Piatrouski.

At the girls competition our Alise began in the Main draw. In the 1st round with 6-4 1-6 6-4 she won over Estonian Elisabeth Iila, but in the 2nd round with 6-3 6-2 she won over Stsefaniya Shabanava from Belarus. In the game for Semifinal Alise with 6-1 6-7(4) 1-6 lost to other Latvian player – Elizabete Kļavinska. Meanwhile in Doubles Alise did not compete.

Our Dāvids Špaks finishes 2nd in ITF Juniors Doubles

September 28 – October 2 in Ādaži took place ITF Juniors “Ādaži Open” where Liepaja Tennis sport school representative Dāvids Špaks finished 2nd in Doubles.Our only representative in the tournament Dāvids Špaks in the first game in Singles Main draw lost with 5-7 2-6 to Markus Molder from Estonia. Meanwhile in Doubles our Dāvids Špaks played together with Alexi Khamrotau from Belarus. Both boys in the 1st round with 7-6(3) 6-3 won over Latvian pair Artjoms Afanasjevs and Daniels Tens. After then Latvian-Belarusian pair made victory with 7-5 6-3 over 4th seeded Noah Eisenberg (USA) and Fabio Nestola (Great Britain). In Semifinal Dāvids with Alexi with 6-4 7-6(3) made their place in Final over Swedish pair Elliot Altman and John Gabelic. With similar game Dāvids and Alexi against Nicolas Kobelt (Switzerland) and Arslanbek Temirhanov (Sweden) lost to 2nd seeded pair with 6-7(5) 4-6. So at the end our Dāvids Špaks and Belarusian Alexi Khamrotau finished 2nd in Doubles.

In Liepaja concluded ITF Juniors tour

August 31 till September 4 in the tennis courts of Liepaja Tennis sport school took place ITF World Tennis Tour Juniors J5 category tournament “Liepaja International by Prince”. Because of rainy conditions, the Singles Finals were played in LOC Tennis hall.Liepaja Tennis sport school and Latvian Tennis Union organized international tournament already has became a tradition. And this year at the tournament competed around 100 tennis players from around the Europe.Liepaja Tennis sport school was represented by Dāvids Špaks, Dāvis Rolis, Alise Vindiga and Anastasija Rižkova. In Singles unfortunately the opponents were a little bit better and our students couldn’t get past the 1st Round. Meanwhile in Doubles our students got till the games for Semifinals.At boys competition the victory in the Singles tournament was celebrated by 1st seeded Estonian Mark Lajal, who with 6-2 6-1 won over 4th seeded Lithuanian Pijus Vaitiekunas. Meanwhile in Doubles in the Liepaja tournament triumphed Lithuanians Ainius Sabaliauskas and Pijus Vaitiekunas by winning in Final with 6-4 6-4 over Latvian and Swiss pair – Edvards Teodors Liepiņš and Kaj Quirijns.At girls competition won 1st seeded Latvian Sabīne Rutlauka, by winning in Final with 6-2 6-2 over 3rd seeded Aveltina Ibragimova from Russia. Meanwhile in Doubles victory was celebrated by Lithuanians Uma Bakaityte and Patricija Paukstyte, who won in Final with 6-3 6-2 Latvian and Lithuanian mixed pair – Sabīne Rutlauka and Klaudija Bubelyte.The tournament was supported by Prince and Liepaja municipality.

Photo: Mārtiņš Vējš

In Liepaja will take place ITF World Tennis Tour Juniors tournament

August 31 till September 4 in the Liepaja Tennis sport school tennis courts at the Jūrmalas parks will take place ITF World Tennis Tour Juniors J5 category tournament “Liepaja International by Prince” for U18 age group.In Liepaja Tennis sport school and Latvian Tennis union organized already traditional tournament will participate 94 young tennis players from Belarus, Ukraine, Italy, Switzerland, Great Britain, Canada, Russia, Finland, Sweden, Ireland, Germany, Estonia, Lithuania and of course Latvia. Liepaja Tennis sport school will be represented by Dāvids Špaks, Dāvis Rolis, Evelīna Ķīvīte, Alise Vindiga and Anastasija Rižkova.

Tournament is supported by Prince and Liepaja municipality.

Anastasija Sevastova nominated for Fed Cup Heart award

Balvas kandidātes. Foto: fedcup.com

Team Latvia player, our local Anastasija Sevastova for the second year in a row is nominated for the Fed Cup Heart award. This nomination Anastasija received for the win in the Fed Cup in February 2020 when team Latvia met with team USA. During the games our Anastasija with 7-6(5) 3-6 7-6(4) won over the 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams, who in the Fed Cup Singles had only victories – 14 of them.

At the end team Latvia with 2-3 lost to team USA.

The winner will be announced on May 11.

Marija Lauva wins the 7th place in Europe in the Latvian national team

February 14 – 16 in Great Britain city Sunderland took place “Tennis Europe Winter Cups by HEAD” for U12 Final tournament. In this tournament competed team Latvia girls, who in early February won the possibility to participate in the Final tournament. Together with Adelina Lačinova and Stefānija Bolēvica, team Latvia was represented by Liepaja Tennis sport school student Marija Lauva. In the Final tournament team Latvia took 7th place.The possibility to compete in the Final tournament was won by 8 national teams – Belarus, Belgium, Czech Republic, Great Britain, Italy, Latvia, Poland and last year winners – Russia.In the first day of the Final tournament team Latvia met against team Belarus. First Singles game was played by our Marija Lauva, who with 6-7(5) 1-6 lost to Belarussian Uladzislava Manzhos. In the second Singles game Latvian Adelina Lačinova with 1-6 4-6 lost to Yuliya Perapekhina. So team Belarus granted themselves place in Semifinal. The concluding Doubles game Latvian girls Marija Lauva and Stefānija Bolēvica with 6-3 5-7 10-7 won over the Belarussians. So team Latvia continued to compete for 5th-8th place.In second day game for the 5th-8th place, team Latvia met against team Czech Republic. Unfortunately team Latvia lost to team Czech Republic with 0-3. Our Marija Lauva competed in Doubles, where together with Adelina Lačinova they lost with 4-6 3-6.In the concluding last day, team Latvia competed for the 7th-8th place against team Italy. First Singles game was won by our Marija Lauva, who in two hours game with 7-6(8) 5-7 6-3 won over Italian Elena Francese. Second Singles game with 6-0 4-6 6-1 was won by Latvian Adelina Lačinova. So team Latvia granted themselves 7th place in Europe. In the remaining Doubles game Marija Lauva together with Stefānija Bolēvica with 6-4 6-4 put a dot in the competition against team Italy with overall win with 3-0.The victory in “Tennis Europe Winter Cups by HEAD” Final tournament was won by team Great Britain, but team Latvia finished 7th.

Our Elza Tomase debuts in WTA ranking

After the victory in ITF Women’s World Tennis Tour category W15 tournament “Liepaja Open” our Elza Tomase has debuted in WTA ranking.February 3, 2020 new WTA ranking was published. Thanks to the victory in ITF “Liepaja Open” tournament, 18 years old Elza Tomase has signed in the WTA ranking with 10 received points. Elza Tomase debuted at the WTA ranking in 1044th place. Elza still competes in Junior tournaments. In ITF Juniors ranking Elza Tomase at the moment is in 253rd place. Today Elza is in Moldova, where she competes in ITF Juniors tournament “J2 Chisinau”. At this tournament Elza is seeded 8th and in the 1st round she won with 5:7 6:1 6:2 over Iulia Gherman from Molodva. In 2nd round Elza will go head to head with Anna Zyryanova from Russia.We congratulate Elza Tomase with getting into the WTA rating and we wish her to climb higher in the ranking.

Additional information:
Latvian tennis players in WTA ranking (February 3, 2020):
40th place – Jeļena Ostapenko
41st place – Anastasija Sevastova
255th place – Diāna Marcinkeviča
502nd place – Daniela Vismane
918th place – Kamilla Bartone
1037th place – Margarita Ignatjeva
1044th place  – Elza Tomase
1281st place – Darja Semenistaja

Marija Lauva from Liepaja represents team Latvia and gets into the TE Final tournament

January 31 – February 2 in Estonian capital Tallinn took place international National team qualification tournament “Tennis Europe Winter Cups by HEAD” for U12 age group, to decide on countries which will participate in Final tournament. Together with Adelina Lačinova and Stefānija Bolēvica team Latvia was represented by Liepaja Tennis sport school student Marija Lauva. Team Latvia girls managed to get into the Final tournament, which will take place in two weeks in Great Britain.Team Latvia girls competed in Zone B qualification round, where competed 7 countries – Bulgaria, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Russia and Switzerland. From each qualification zone two best teams will compete at “Tennis Europe Winter Cups by HEAD” Final tournament, which will take place February 14-16 in Sunderland (Great Britain). Team Latvia in the qualification zone competed together with the winners of last years Final – team Russia. The tournament has a format that each duel has two Singles games and one Doubles. Winner of the duel gets into the next round.In 1st round team Latvia had to compete against team Estonia. First Singles game was between our Marija Lauva and Estonian Marie Johanna Lapimaa. In one hour and a half long game Marija lost with 2-6 6-7(2). Second Singles game was won by Latvian Adelina Lačinova so the Doubles game was the deciding game for the next round. In Doubles competed Adelina Lačinova and our Marija Lauva against Marie Johanna Lapimaa and Miriam Rankel. In less than an hour team Latvia girls with 6-0 6-3 took our team in the next round.In 2nd team Latvia had to compete against team Bulgaria. First Singles game this time played Latvian Stefānija Bolēvica who with 7-5 6(4)-7 4-6 lost to Bulgarian Valeria Garnevska. In second Singles game Latvian Adelina Lačinova against Andrea Ivanova with 6-1 6-1 kept team Latvia in the competition, where again the Doubles will make the decision. In the Doubles against Bulgaria, team Latvia again was represented by Adelina Lačinova and our Marija Lauva who competed against Valeria Garnevska and Rafaela Simeonova. With 7-5 6-3 team Latvia won the duel and granted them a place in the Final tournament in Great Britain, which will take place in two weeks. As well, it ment that team Latvia in the Qualifications last round will compete against former Final winners team Russia, to decide, which team is stronger in this Qualification zone.In the last round of the Qualification tournament against team Russia, the first Singles was played by our Marija Lauva who unfortunately with 2-6 0-6 lost to Russian Efremova Ksenia. In the second Singles game Latvian Adelina Lačinova with 7-5 1-6 4-6 lost to Russian Daria Koreshkova. Even though both lost Singles games already made the team Russia winners of this qualification round over team Latvia, the Doubles were played. Our Marija Lauva with Stefānija Bolēvica competed against Russians – Efremova Ksenia and Polina Vimba. With 4-6 3-6 team Latvia lost to team Russia. So at the end team Latvia finished 2nd in the Qualification tournament, which lets our girls to compete in the “Tennis Europe Winter Cups by HEAD” Final tournament.

In Liepaja first ITF Women’s World Tennis Tour Tournament concluded with victory of local Elza Tomase

January 20-26 in Liepaja for the first time took place Women’s World Tennis Tour W15 category tournament “Liepaja Open”. Victory in the Singles tournament was celebrated by local Elza Tomase, who in this level tournament competed for the first time.

Latvia at the ITF “Liepaja Open” was represented by 9 tennis players. Liepaja, as hometown was represented by three – Elza Tomase, Patrīcija Špaka and Alise Vindiga.Alise Vindiga began the tournament with Qualifiers, where already in the 1st round with 2:6 0:6 she lost to Melis Yasar (Sweden). Alise competed in Doubles together with other Latvian representative – Alise Runča. Unfortunately they lost in the 1st round with 2:6 5:7 to Anna Parkhomenko (Ukraine) and Lucie Petruzelova (Czech Republic).

Patrīcija Špaka began the tournament in Main draw, but in the 1st round she lost to Anna Parkhomenko (Ukraine) with 3:6 4:6.Locals Patrīcija Špaka and Elza Tomase joined their forces for Doubles tournament. In 1st round with 7:6(5) 6:2 they won over Estonians – Sofiya Chekhlystova and Helena Narmont. In Doubles Quarterfinals our girls had to compete against 1st seeded Polish pair – Weronika Falkowska and Martyna Kubka. Poles demonstrated 1st seeded game and eliminated Latvians with 6:2 6:3.

Elza Tomase her first adult ITF began already in Main draw. The 1st round Elza began with a 7:5 6:3 victory over Polina Bakhmutkina (Russia). In 2nd round with 3:6 7:6(3) 6:3 Elza knocked out other Latvian tennis player – Margarita Ignatjeva. In Quarterfinal Elza with 6:4 4:6 7:6(3) continued the tournament over Katriin Saar (Estonia). With each next game Elza showed more stable and improved game. In Semifinal with 7:6(3) 6:2 she dealt with 7th seeded Viktoria Morvayova (Slovakia) and granted herself the first ITF Women’s World Tennis Tour Final against 2nd seeded Quirine Lemoine from Netherlands. With big supporters crowd in the tennis hall Elza Tomase demonstrated willpower and insistance. With 0:6 6:3 6:1 our own Elza Tomase celebrated victory in her 1st women ITF tournament which was the 1st tournament in Liepaja.After the tournament victory Elza still couldn’t believe her success and achievement, especially when she has won already in her 1st professional tennis tournament. Elza also appreciated the great support of the supporters at the crucial moments. She pointed out, that she doesn’t have much time to celebrate the victory, because she has to prepare for the next tournaments – European juniors tournaments in Moldova, Germany and Lithuania.

With the victory in ITF W15 category “Liepaja Open” tournament, Elza Tomase has earned 10 WTA ranking points and will debut in the WTA ranking!

During the competition week supporters were eyewitnesses to emotions and moments which have not occurred in Liepaja tennis life. Because of these moments sport is interesting and breathtaking. In moments when all facts, prognosis and numbers say the opposite, in sport everything is possible and it was demonstrated by Elza Tomase with her performance. The tournament organizers – Liepaja Tennis sport school and Latvian Tennis union has unlimited joy and satisfaction for the excellent tournament and for the local Elza Tomase first achievement in such level tournament.In Doubles the victory was celebrated by 3rd seeded Katyarina Paulenka (Belarus) and Ekaterina Shalimova (Russia) who in Final with 4:6 6:3 12:10 won over 1st seeded pair from Poland – Weronika Falkowska and Martyna Kubka. After the Doubles victory Ekaterina Shalimova said that this tournament she will remember for sure as one of the best organized tournaments overall. Everything that had to be provided to the players (Warm-up field, warm-up zone, Players lounge, transportation between hotel and tennis hall) was provided in the best quality. Often in other tournaments these things are not provided by organizers. As well she said that the catering in Liepaja is in the top level. Meanwhile the other Doubles winner Katyarina Paulenka (she had birthday in her victory day) wanted to thank organizers and staff for the excellent organized competition week.

Head of Liepaja Tennis sport school Elans Zīverts would like to thank to Liepaja Municipality and Latvian Tennis union for the support to organize such level tournament in Liepaja. This tournament and the success of our tennis players is a proof, that Latvian and Liepaja tennis players level is high and this tournament is a great investment in the development of young tennis players, because they can observe high level tennis and learn from professionals in their own environment, which is not possible to have in regular everyday life. Zīverts highlighted, that this tournament will be an additional push for the development of young tennis players to gain motivation and dedication from these kind of games.

The Secretary-General of Latvian Tennis Union in looking back to ITF “Liepaja Open” first wanted to thank to Liepaja Municipality for the great collaboration. As well he had great joy that in the 1st tournament in Liepaja the winner was from Liepaja. As well as that this kind of collaboration should be organized in the future by organizing additionally different level tennis tournaments in Liepaja.

ITF Supervisor Konstantīns Zasjadko said that in tournament competed 56 tennis players from 17 countries and competed for 15 000 USD prize and WTA ranking points. Zasjadko said that the organizers provided everything that was necessary for this level tournaments – hotel, transportation, cafe, courts according to ITF regulations. Tennis players have praised the Warm-up zone, because not in all tennis halls there is such a place. Because of that Zasjadko wanted to thank the designers of the tennis hall, that hey have planned such a place in the hall. Supervisor highlighted that the tournament participants had a positive wibe, thanks to the great organizational level of the tournament. As well he thanked to the Liepaja Tennis sport school staff and Latvian Tennis union as well to Liepaja Municipality for the support and interest to have and organize such a tournament. Special gratitude has to go to the tennis supporters who came and supported their local Elza Tomase. At the Semifinal there were more than 200 supporters, but in the Final even more than 300 supporters. Thanks to the supporters the atmosphere in the tennis hall was amazing. Players are playing for the supporters, because of that they really appreciate the supporters support.

Photo: Mārtiņš Vējš

Our Agate Gurecka receives referee of the year award

Latvian tennis referee association (LTTA) at the end of year 2019 organized a vote for the best tennis referee in Latvia for 2019. Our Agate Gurecka was voted to be the best referee.For the vote were nominated 5 referees. Arnolds Japiņš (Riga) took 5th place (15%), 4th place went to Jānis Muktupāvels (Riga) (16%). In 3rd place finished our Marta Pagraba (Liepaja) (18%), but in 2nd finished Jānis Stepiņš (Jelgava) (19%).

After collection of votes for the referee of the year 2019 were called our Agate Gurecka, who received 32% from all the votes.

In 2019 Agate worked active for assistant in Latvian Tennis Union, Tennis Europe and ITF Juniors organized tournaments in Ādaži, Jūrmala, Liepāja, Rīga and Ventspils. In addition Agate worked as a main referee not only in tournaments in her hometown Liepaja, but in other Latvian cities as well. Two times Agate was line referee in Federation Cup games in Latvia against Slovakia and Germany. She was selected from 100 candidates.

Agate Gurecka had the possibility to take part in referee process in WTA tournaments. In “Mallorca Open” Agate successfully represented LTTA and she was selected to work till the Semifinal games, meanwhile in WTA “Baltic Open” she did work till the Final.

In early 2019 Agate successfully participated in project “young referees” which took place in Stockholm. She did receive high grade from ITF teachers.

We wish to Agate to continue development and to take part in higher level tournaments, but we hope that she won’t forget about tournaments in Liepaja.

Photo: Mārtiņš Vējš