Efremova v Klugman: match-up of prodigies on Thursday at the Petits As

The tournament’s two 12-year-olds, Russia’s Ksenia Efremova and Britain’s Hannah Klugman, will face each other in the round of 16 of the Petits As tournament on Thursday

There is no “night session” at the Petits As de Tarbes – but the organisation of the most prestigious tournament in the world for under 14s has been smart to schedule the last match on Thursday (not before 5.30pm) between Ksenia Efremova and Hannah Klugman. Both players are unseeded, and both accepted an invitation to enter the draw. And for good reason: they were born in 2009, are two seasons younger than the rest of the field, and are, in short, the ones everyone wants to see play this week in Tarbes.

Both 12-year-olds needed to fight to prevail on Wednesday. Krugman, winner of the U14 event in Annecy this summer, opened the draw by eliminating the No 4 seed, Czech Lucia Hradecka (4-6, 6-3, 6-1).

Efremova had a tough and lengthy match against the talented German Amelie Justine Hetmanek (3-6, 6-3, 6-2), who was beaten in two hours and 15 minutes. The Russian had already outplayed the No16 seed in the first round, Jo-Leen Saw.

Klugman and Efremova have never played each other previously, but had the opportunity to get to know each other on Monday in doubles – although as partners they were eliminated.

Wednesday was marked by the exit of three of the top four seeds. In addition to Hradecka, the women’s draw lost top seed Yeva Gallievska of Ukraine to Eliska Forejtkova (7-6, 3-6, 6-3), and No 2 seed Julia Stousek, who forfeited her match against Moroccan Amina Zeghlouli.

In the men’s draw, the tournament’s favourites made it through to the second round, with the exception of Russian Egor Gorin, seeded No 4, who was beaten by American Matisse Farzan (6-2, 3-6, 7-5). Farzan will meet Colombia’s Alejandro Arcila, who beat Netherlands’ Thijs Boogaard, a year younger than most of the entrants, 6-3, 6-4.

All the round of 16 matches are scheduled for Thursday. The Halle des Expositions in Tarbes is accessible free of charge within the limit of the 1,000 seats available and on presentation of a vaccination health pass. The matches are broadcast live and on video on the official website.

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