Written by: Sorin Tanasescu
***Just a few weeks ago, Viktoriya Tabunshchyk and Maria Tanasescu finished competing in Italy together with three other U12 players under the guidance of Tennis Canada Coach Sebastian Scutaru. Maria Tanasescu’s father Sorin was on tour with the girls blogging to us about their tennis adventures.***
To read Sorin Tanasescu’s “Italian Diaries: Part 1”, please click here.
Trieste is a beautiful seaport in northeastern Italy with picturesque places and the famous Miramare Castle. Our team arrived on Saturday, June 23rd by train. The first train trip for the girls in Italy. They relaxed a bit on Saturday and Sunday and had their first training session at the Tennis Club Triestino (TCT), situated on top of a hill in the woods of Trieste. It was a beautiful place with lots of courts, and our team had plenty of time to train and prepare for the next battle.
Monday, June 25
Maria played an Italian girl, and she put a very creative and powerful game. Just being relaxed and focused made a lot of difference in her performance. She won 6-0, 6-3. Viktoriya was pairing with an Australian girl and played against Maria and Brindtha. The battle was intense, and we could see the desire to win from both sides. At the end, the Canadian team won 6-4, 6-2. Viktoriya was continuously doing her training and fitness. During her breaks, we saw her texting her parents. Looks like she started to miss them.
Tuesday, June 26
Viktoriya played the finalist from the previous tournament in Padova, Giulia Peoni (ITA). The match was very tight, many games were finished at deuce. Viktoriya played a very aggressive game, and she managed to have lots of attacking opportunities, but the finishing was not all the time successful. The opponent played consistently and in defense, and it seemed that this style of game worked. Giulia won at the end 6-1, 6-1. Maria was training during the day, and they did some fitness too. The club was very nice. We could use the shades of the trees to stay away from the burning sun.
Wednesday, June 27
Maria played for the first time against a Russian girl, who was a head taller than our girl. From the beginning, we saw a big desire to win coming from the Russian, and sometimes the calls for some balls were a point of debating with the umpire. Maria handled the pressure pretty good, and she managed to play in a relaxed and focused manner. She won 6-4, 6-3 and qualified for the next round. Viktoriya had started her consolations where she played very well, focused and determined to win.
Thursday, June 28
Almost every day started with a training session, which also included fitness. Sebastian, Coach Canada, was very meticulous in preparing our team to perform at their highest potential. Maria played a British girl whose first name and birth date was the same as hers. Such a coincidence, isn’t it? The match was tough and long. Maria managed to win and to qualify for her second semifinal of the tour. Viktoriya was winning her consolation matches and was reaching the final. Viktoriya prepared for the consolation final pretty intensively, with multiple sessions of fitness and training on the court. She played against an Aussie girl. The match was very intense, and we could see the level of concentration and focus on Viktoriya’s face. She was up the first set. She played well, but it seems that the other girl was more consistent, and Viktoriya lost the second and the third set, but very close.
Friday, June 29
Maria was facing a Slovenian girl in the semifinals. The opponent was very powerful and determined, and it was fear that we felt in Maria and her game. We asked her after the match where that fear came from, and the answer was: she was afraid to lose. The match was dominated by the Slovenian, with a few spikes of creativity and power from Maria. She lost 6-2, 6-4, and that was the end of our girls’ performance in Trieste.
Saturday, June 30th, the team watched the final between Nicaise and Yishai Oliel (ISR), and they all cheered for our Canadian boy, who won his second final of the tour. Once the matches were done, the team went straight to the train station where they took the train to their final destination – Porto San Giorgio. They reached Porto late in the night, and Sunday they started their training session to get ready for the biggest out of the three tournaments that they participated in.
Porto San Giorgio is a small seaside resort with nice beaches. The team arrived there on a Saturday night. The hotel was situated very close to the beach and the tennis courts where the tournament was organized. Saturday and Sunday night, there was a very nice local festival along the street of the hotel. The fireworks were magnificent, very much like 1st of July for Canada Day. The children were very excited, as if the town had been expecting them and was celebrating their arrival.
Monday, July 2nd
It was Viktoriya who opened the tournament for the Canadian Team. She played against a Russian girl. Again, a long and a strong match in 3 sets. The first set was a slow start for our girl, and she lost it 4-6, but in the second set Viktoriya was a completely different player. She won 6-1. In the third one, the fight became very intensive, and almost everybody was watching the game. The score was very close, and Viktoriya had 5-3 at one point, but maybe because of the excitement, she lost it 5-7.
Tuesday, July 3rd
Maria played an Italian girl of Romanian descent. The game was a good start for Maria, even though I sensed a bit of tiredness in her body. She managed to play strong and diverse. The Italian got very frustrated allowing Maria to gain more and more points. She won 6-2, 6-2.
Wednesday, July 4th
The girls only played doubles. This time, Sebastian had asked them to find their pairs from different countries. Maria had an Aussie girl as partner, and Viktoriya – a Belgian one. Both pairs won their matches.
Thursday, July 5th
Unfortunately, this day was the last one for Maria and Viktoriya, in both singles and doubles. In singles, Maria played a Russian girl and lost 3-6, 6-3, 2-6. Viktoriya played an Aussie girl (Maria’s doubles partner) and lost 2-6,1-6. This was the end of their first tennis adventure in Europe, the homeland of tennis.
Overall, both Maria and Viktoriya had a very good experience in Italy. They saw that there is a lot of space for growth, and hopefully, more tournaments like these will help them to constantly become better and better.