The French tournament known as Les Petits As in Tarbes is widely regarded as one the best European events for those in the 14 & under Category. Many a household name in the senior ranks has made a first impression there. So doing well in Tarbes is something to gear up for in the first month of a new year.
And doing well is precisely what Fabio Nestola did! First he saw off the home player Arthur Gea 6-3 7-6 (6) before accounting for the 15th seed Learner Tien (USA) (15) 1-6 6-3 6-3. Flushed with this success he demolished the Belgian No.1 seed Alexander Blockx 6-1 6-4 to reach the quarter finals where he was on the wrong end of a tight encounter with Antoine Ghibaudo (FRA) in front of an understandably partisan crowd, losing 7-5 7-6 (4). Nestola is comfortable as a day boy at Culford School in Bury St Edmunds; living at home and training hard with coach John Treherne seems to agree with him!
Elsewhere in the boys draw Luca Pow won through 2 rounds to the last 16 and then joined up with Nestola to reach the quarter finals of the doubles. And in the girls singles Nottingham’s Eva Shaw qualified and won two rounds including a win over the 16th seed Li Hsin Lin of Taipei 6-0 6-2. In the last 16 she found Linda Fruhvirtova (CZE) (1) too good for her – but then so did everyone else, the Czech hardly losing games as she took the title. And with partner Rana Stoiber, Eva made the semis of the doubles.