(January 25, 2016) Hungarian duo Dalma Galfi, the 2015 ITF Girls World Champion, and Mate Valkusz, the current boys’ world No. 1, head the entry for the 2016 ITF Junior Masters taking place at the Sichuan International Tennis Centre in Chengdu, China on 8-10 April.
The ITF Junior Masters, now in its second year, is an international event showcasing eight male and eight female players who qualify on the basis of their 18-and-under ITF Junior World Ranking at the end of the year. The ITF Junior Masters consists of two knock-out singles events, with each player guaranteed three matches to determine their final finishing position. Players will compete for a total prize fund of $160,000 in travel grants, and will also compete for wild cards into professional events.
The following players will contest the 2016 ITF Junior Masters:
Dalma Galfi (HUN)
Katie Swan (GBR)
Anna Blinkova (RUS)
Tereza Mihalikova (SVK)
Usue Arconada (USA)
Sofia Kenin (USA)
Charlotte Robillard-Millette (CAN)
Kayla Day (USA)
Casper Ruud (NOR)
Mate Valkusz (HUN)
Hong Seong Chan (KOR)
Marcelo Barrios Vera (CHI)
Orlando Luz (BRA)
Miomir Kecmanovic (SRB)
William Blumberg (USA)
Alvaro Lopez San Martin (ESP)
Galfi, the 2015 US Open junior champion, lines up alongside Australian Open junior champion Tereza Mihalikova and runner-up Katie Swan, and Wimbledon junior finalist Anna Blinkova. They will be joined by Sofia Kenin, a member of the United States’ 2014 Junior Fed Cup by BNP Paribas winning team.
Valkusz, who took over the boys’ No. 1 ranking at the start of 2016, heads up the men’s entries alongside 2015 Orange Bowl junior champion Miomir Kecmanovic, Australian Open junior runner-up Hong Seong Chan and 2014 double Youth Olympic medallist Orlando Luz. They will be joined by 2013 Junior Davis Cup by BNP Paribas winner Alvaro Lopez San Martin.
The provision of travel grants is one of the ways in which the ITF Junior Masters assists these top juniors in making a transition from junior tennis to the professional game. Each player competing in the 2016 ITF Junior Masters will earn a minimum travel grant of $7,000, while the boys’ and girls’ champions will both be awarded $15,000 travel grants. Players will also compete for wild cards into professional events donated by National Associations, with further details to be confirmed later this year.
The Sichuan International Tennis Centre will host the event for the second year as part of the ITF’s three-year agreement with the Chinese Tennis Association and the Chengdu Sport Bureau. The centre, which was built in 2008 and consists of 32 hard courts, has hosted several international events. The ITF Junior Masters will be staged on the centre’s two show courts, including a 6,000-capacity centre court, with matches broadcast by Sichuan TV and streamed live over the three days of competition.
The ITF Junior Masters joins the ITF junior team competitions, the 14-and-under ITF World Junior Tennis competition, and 16-and-under Junior Davis Cup and Junior Fed Cup by BNP Paribas, as the premier junior events on the 2016 ITF calendar.