21 & Under Invitational Tournament Kicks Off In Hamburg
The Tennis Europe 21 & Under Invitational tournament, which is being held alongside the ATP 500 Hamburg European Open kicked off on Thursday at the Rothenbaum tennis complex.
The unique tournament is a product of the co-operation between the European Tennis Federation, the organizers of the Hamburg European Open as well as the German Tennis Federation. It is devised to give promising players big match experience at a leading professional event, plus the chance to win financial grants to assist with their expenses.
The tournament offers a total prize money of €50,000. The men’s champion will receive a wild card entry to the $25,000 ITF World Tennis Tour event in Ricany, Czech Republic, while the winner of the women’s tournament will receive an invitation to compete at the $60,000 event in Meitar, Israel in September.
The Invitational event features ‘Best of Five’ set matches played with a reduced format; sets will be played as ‘First to Four’ games with a tie-break at 3-All. There will be ‘No-Ad’ scoring (receiver decides), the ‘No Let’ rule applies, and players will be able to communicate with their coaches during the match.
“It’s a brilliant idea to organize this tournament with16 great players. I enjoy it and I also like the format,” said Holger Vitus Nodskov Rune of Denmark, reigning Roland Garros juniors champion, who is part of the men’s line-up in Hamburg. “The `No-Let rule’ and ‘No-Ad Scoring’ is good for the audience, I think. This could also work on the regular tour.”
Top seeds open tournament with wins
The top seeds of the combined event opened the round-robin group stages with wins. 20year-old Ylena In-Albon from Switzerland leads the women’s field and defeated Nika Radisic 4-0, 1-4, 4-2, 4-3(4) on Day 1.
Jarvier Barranco Cosano, World No. 341 in the ATP-Rankings, is the top favourite of the men’s draw. The 20-year-old Spaniard defeated Niklas Guttau of Germany 4-3(1), 4-1, 4-2. Barranco Cosano advanced to the semi-finals of the ATP Challenger in Braunschweig only two weeks ago and keeps up his good run of form in Hamburg.
The winners of the tournament will be crowned on Sunday.