2nd place in the Great ÖTV Boys Final Round

Austria's U12 team were only stopped by Slovakia in the final in Sunderland.

The Tennis Europe Winter Cups is a format created in 1977 where the best European teams can compete in a team tournament during the indoor season. Austria's U12 boys don't have to shy away from continental comparisons with Europe's best these days and it's proving impressive. After second place in Zone C in Krefeld two weeks ago, the red-white-red selection, overseen on site by ÖTV U12 national coach Robert Meirich, also finished a fine second place in the final round in Sunderland. Luka Sageder (OÖTV), Leonel Friesneck (STTV) and Fabian Leitner (OÖTV) scored in Sunday's final against Slovakia in a 2-1 defeat in the industrial city in the north-east of England. “It was a great match from the boys and I'm very proud of our team,” said Myrich. Rightly so, this win finally broke new ground in the event's long history.

Meyrich: “Obviously it's a feeling to reach the final”

The ÖTV boys first knocked out the Czech Republic 2-1 in the quarter-finals and “put together a decisive duo who played very well and ran very well,” said an excited Myrich. And Styrian, who lives in Carinthia, saw an “incredibly good performance” in a 2-1 win over Switzerland in the semi-final, which was already decided after individual matches. What they have achieved is amazing. Although the Swiss boys also put up a good fight – at the highest U12 level. “The final match started with a 2:6, 1:6 loss against Frießnegg, Matteo Sanson. “In terms of the result, it was soft, but in terms of the game it wasn't really. He was at 30:30, 40:40 in every game but it didn't go his way. It felt like 3:6, 4:6, but Sanson was very balanced and very compact from the base. “However, Sakeder kept the home hopes alive with a 7:5, 7:5 win against Martin Adamka at second singles. “It was a great match between the two of them,” Myrich said. “The opponent was a head taller, but Luka fought very hard. and was able to equalize.”

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The only happy ending was missing: Leitner/Sagheder lost the all-important doubles match against Adamka/Samson, which was Sagheder's first loss in the finals. “There was a lack of air – really, a shame.” The level of play also affected the decider, and according to Myrich, “It really didn't deserve a final. I'm sorry the boys couldn't compare to their previous performances. There were a lot of unadvertised points against us, and you have to say the others deserved it. They played a bit more bravely in the decisive moments and at the back. have been very active since.” But that didn't detract from a more positive summary: “I was very happy and pleased that they got to the final in Krefeld to qualify. To the final round – that was a big leap.” “Our U12 boys, as far as I know, have never made it,” Myrich said in the long history of Tennis Europe Winter Cups. “The fact that they continued their winning ways in the finals and made it to the finals was definitely a sensation. I am happy for the boys and hope they get more energy from this and achieve more positive results this year.

Austria's U14 girls are also attacking

Apart from Austria's U12 boys, the U14 girls also qualified for the finals in Zone C in Svedala a week ago. Next weekend, the ÖTV U14 national coach Franz Kresnik's team will play in Rakovnik, Czech Republic from February 15th to 17th. Anna Bircher (DTV), Leah Hyder-Maurer (PTV) and Kara Fronek (WTV) can also do a lot here.

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