We have three Finns in Great Britain! Paukku, Kontinen and Heliövaara. I hope Henri and Harri will team up for doubles like in Helsinki.
I also wait and think that it's very likely that Henri and Harri will play doubles together and Juho plays with a foreign partner.
It seems that new Finnish DavisCup team (without Jarkko) is playing in Exmouth this week. New generation in work. New DavisCup coach Kim Tiilikainen is coaching tennis in Great Britain so it's very likely that Kim also is now with Juho, Henri and Harri in Exmouth training and playing for DavisCup.
Henri Kontinen who is at a career high 37 in ITF juniors has been selected for the Finnish Davis Cup squad to face South Africa in Finland. The South African team will feature MCTA’s Wes Moodie and the fast improving Kevin Anderson. This is an honour for Henri and an indication of the progress he has made in the past year. For our Finnish readers there is an official media release, which you can read it here
Henri has earned his place with his debut in Challenger doubles was the finest in history when he made the final of the $75,000 in his own country and recently in Asia winning an ITF group 2 in singles and doubles (w Vucic) and making the finals of a group 1 tournament a week later.
As a junior he has also secured his first ATP point in singles late 2007 and this week he qualified for the Future in Britain losing in 3 sets to the number 2 seed (Dawid OLEJNICZAK (POL) 6-2 6-7(5) 6-1).
In the doubles event of the same tournament he teamed up with his finalist partner from the challenger and they are now in the semifinal after defeating Bains and Prichard from Great Britain 63, 63 in the first round and having a Walk Over against British Bamford and Goodall.
After the Davis Cup Henri will focus on the lead up to the French Open and Wimbledon juniors with an eye on the top 20 juniors.
MCTA is the world’s first touring Academy.
First Pro doubles title for Kontinen
MCTA Player Henri Kontinen continues his rise as a young pro doubles player with his second final appearance, this time coming out on top to lift the title in a British Futures event in Exmouth.
The result against the experienced Ken Skupski was a comprehensive display. Kontinen joined forces with Heliovaara of Finland to defeat British, number 2 seeds of the tournament Grambow and Skupski 6-2 6-2.
MCTA Director of Tennis, David Sammel said “This is a very good week for Henri winning his first Future soon after hearing of his selection to the Finnish Davis Cup squad. Henri is making solid progress both in world juniors and now as a young pro starting out on the men’s’ tour. We hope his results and exposure in Finland will encourage companies or individuals in Finland to support Henri in his ambitions. Tennis requires years of investment in time, effort and money in order to succeed which MCTA are quick to recognise, but a substantial burden still rests with the parents.”
Henri described the result saying “We were solid on key points, played aggressively and took care of business with class. Nice to get first pro title win, hopefully many more to come.”
Joachim Johansson * Andreas Vinciguerra* Jonas Björkman* ToJo* Robin Söderling* Oliver Rochus* Christope Rochus* Jarkko Nieminen* Fernando Gonzalez* Feliciano Lopez*Igor Andreev*Catalin Gard*Kristof Vliegen*Kristian Pless*Kenneth Carlsen*Juan Ignacio Chela*Steve Darcis*Kevin Anderson*Henri Kontinen*Henri Laaksonen*Daniel Berta*Rik de Voest*Niels Desein*Fernando Verdasco*Arthur de Greef*'David Goffin*Yannik Reuter*Erling Tveit*Devin Britton*Micke Kontinen*Christian Lindell*Erling Tveit*Robbye Poole*Henri Laaksonen*
This week will be an interesting junior tournaments week for two best finnish junior players Henri Kontinen(17years) and Henri Laaksonen(16years).
Kontinen will play in France Grade1 tournament in Beaulieu-Sur-Mer. Kontinen is 5. seeded. He is direct in second round and plays today against (WC) Joachim Sternbachin(FRA;ITF157). After that Kontinen might play against such good junior players like Cox (GBR;ITF59), Brunken (GER;ITF23)and Folie (BEL;ITF18). Henri's ITF-ranking has falled to ITF42 from ITF31.
Laaksonen will play this week in Spain (Valencia) Grade2 tournament. Henri is 7. seeded and plays today 1. round against Farik Akhazzan (GBR;ITF222). Henri's ITF-ranking is now only 174 when it was in the beginning of this year already ITF109. Henri will lose this week and next week his last year Bulgarian juniortournament winnerpoints. If Henri will not get more points from Valencia he will fall next week about to 225. in ITF-ranking. Henri has won only 1 match from 5 during this year junior tournaments. So now must be time to Henri to win matches again!