HEAD recently sponsored the 2008 Tennis Europe Winter Cup, organized by Tennis Europe, the largest regional association of the sport's governing body, the International Tennis Federation (ITF). HEAD will be the presenting sponsor of the European Winter Cup until 2009.
The 2008 Tennis Europe Winter Cup presented by HEAD, featured 122 national junior teams competing in 20 tournaments for the title of European Indoor Team Champions. Teams were divided into male and female with categories under 14-years-old and under 16-years-old. HEAD is the official racquet, tennis ball, string, bag and accessory partner of the Tennis Europe Winter Cup.
“The 2008 Tennis Europe Winter Cup has shown to be a quality competition and a great success as an event and for us as sponsors,” said Robert Marte, Division Manager of HEAD Racquetsports. “This partnership strengthens HEAD's relationship with one of the most respected organizations in the European tennis community and we are looking forward to continuing our partnership for the next two years.”
Tennis Europe Chief Executive Officer Olli Mäenpää commented, "We'd like to thank HEAD for helping us to make the 2008 event the biggest and best yet. There were some unforgettable ties at these final rounds, and I congratulate all 32 finalists, but especially our champions, who worked particularly hard for their titles this year. History has shown that the Tennis Europe Winter Cups by HEAD has enabled us to see the emergence of possible future Davis and Fed Cup teams, and I have no doubt that some of this year's star players will soon be making their mark in those competitions as well."
The boys’ finals for both age groups were held in Pruhonice, Czech Republic, where the Belgians celebrated a victory in the 14-and-under event. Belgium defeated top seeded Russia, 2-1 to earn its second victory in the contest’s history. In the 16-and-under event, unseeded Hungary capped out a weekend of upsets by defeating four-time champions Italy, 2-0. The win marks the first victory for Hungary in even history. The final match was a repeat of qualifying, in which the Italian team won 2-1.
Tradition continued at the girls’ 14-and-under finals in Leeuwarden, Netherlands, as Russia won their seventh title in nine years after defeating second-seeded Great Britain in the finals. Russia, who also won last year’s competition, won the final match 2-1. The girls’ 16-and-under event was held for the tenth consecutive year in Ronchin, France, where the Czech Republic earned its first victory in the girls’ age category by defeating Italy 2-1. Team members Karolina and Kristyna Pliskova earned their second victory in three years, as they took down Poland in the 2006 girls 14 and under competition.
The Tennis Europe Winter Cup presented by HEAD, gives Europe’s top junior players a unique opportunity to compete in a top-level team competition with indoor conditions, and have traditionally seen participation from some of the greats of game. In recent years players such as Amélie Mauresmo, Marat Safin and Andy Murray have been among those who have represented their countries.