March 30, 2017

Defending Champ Gianni Ross Opens With Win In Defense of 2016 Adidas Easter Bowl Title

(March 28, 2017) INDIAN WELLS, Calif. – It’s been 45 years since there’s been a repeat winner in the Boys’ 18s division at the premier junior tennis tournament in the nation. At this week’s 50th Annual Adidas Easter USTA Junior National Spring Championships, Gianni Ross is attempting to be the first to win back-to-back 18s singles titles since 1971-72 when Grey King achieved the feat.

 

On Tuesday, Ross opened play at the prestigious event taking place at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden with a straight-set, 7-5, 6-1, win over Palo Alto’s Conrad Russell on the same main show Court 2 where he beat former doubles partner John McNally last April for the coveted Easter Bowl title.

 

Ross had a wide grin on his face for a few hours after the victory on Tuesday. “This is a fun tournament for me,” he said. “I like everything: conditions, courts, balls. So I’m ready. It felt really dry for me today for some reason. I had to keep putting water on my hands. It was just so dry. Maybe because I was just coming from Carson. It was so gloomy and cold there to the hot and dry here.”

 

Ross played in the Carson International Spring Championships singles final on Sunday falling to Alexandre Rotsaert of Boca Raton, Fla., the No. 9 Easter Bowl ITF seed and another straight-set winner on Tuesday.

 

“I was depressed for a day, but you can’t ask for more than a final,” Ross said. “So I’m happy and I hope I can do just as well here.”

 

Ross was told there had only been one repeat boys’ 18s winner in the 50-year history of the tournament and was asked if he felt pressure. “No,” Ross said emphatically. “I shouldn’t feel pressure. There’s pressure to win every win match. So why should this week be any different.”

 

He said winning the Easter Bowl last year made his name a little more well-known. “Winning last year was great,” said Ross, who suffered an illness that kept him off the court during the summer. “If I could get back and do it twice, that would be amazing. It was important for my last year to win this last year.”

 

To go pro, or enter the collegiate ranks is the pressing question that looms for Ross. “It’s still right there, deciding whether to go to college or turn pro,” he said. “I don’t think about it day by day. I just wake up and play tennis and try to get better. And that’s about it.”

 

Redondo Beach’s Taylor Johnson has never won the Easter Bowl, but after her dominating 6-1, 6-0, first-round win over Chloe Hamlin of Bristol, Tenn., Johnson looks like a definite top contender to win this year’s title.

 

Like Ross, Johnson fell in the Carson ISC final Sunday to a player who is not entered in this week’s tournament, Carson Branstine.

 

“Reaching the final last week gave me a lot of confidence,” said the lefty Johnson, who is coached by tennis legend and Coachella Valley resident Rosie Casals. “Just working with Rosie these past four or five years has helped me so much. I like to serve and volley and she’s really helped me with that.”

 

The 16-year-old Johnson said she stuck to her game plan Tuesday, and hopes to do the same in the second round against Southern California rival Kelly Chen, who she beat in three sets in a nearly four-hour marathon match in the second round at Carson.

 

“I hope it’s not as long as last week’s match but I’ll do whatever it takes to win,” Johnson said. “I was down in all three sets and faced a match point against her in the third set. It was tough, but I was able to pull through.”

 

Last year’s Girls’ ITF finalist Ellie Douglas, the No. 4 seed from McKinney, Texas, beat Jessica Anzo of Temecula, 6-3, 6-0, in her first-round match.

 

Also posting a win in the first round in the Boys’ ITF singles was top-seeded Trent Bryde of Suwanee, Ga., who best Benjamin Gollin of Solana Beach, Calif., 6-1, 7-6 (4).

 

ADIDAS EASTER BOWL SIGHTINGS ON TUESDAY: 1973 Boys’ 18s Easter Bowl champion and renowned Florida coach Nick Saviano; Stanford University men’s tennis coach Paul Goldstein; Former UCLA star Nick Miester; Former world-ranked No. 69 Jesse Levine; Son of legendary Bobby Riggs, Larry Riggs. Continuing on yesterday’s theme of former pro players with sons or daughters in the draw, 40-time ATP doubles winner Martin Damm’s son Martin Jr. of Bradenton, Fla., advanced to the semifinals in the Boys’ 14s. Damm partnered with Leander Paes to win the 2006 US Open, his only Grand Slam title.

 

In addition to live streaming the Easter Bowl again this year, the tournament has a new and improved mobile app, which can be found in both the Apple iTunes store or at Google Play. Search “Easter Bowl” to download the app. The live stream commentating duties are being provided by the popular Southern California tennis commentator Marcus Tennis. Check www.easterbowl.com to watch the live stream and for all Easter Bowl news, results and schedules.

 

By Steve Pratt

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Easter Bowl To Celebrate 50th Anniversary March 25-April 2 At Indian Wells Tennis Garden

INDIAN WELLS, Calif. – The Easter Bowl USTA Junior National Spring Championships Presented by Adidas will celebrate its 50th tournament starting tomorrow / March 25-April 2 at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.

 

Started in 1968 in New York City by Seena Hamilton, the Easter Bowl tournament is currently directed by chairman Lornie Kuhle and has always been a direct “pathway to the pros” for aspiring tennis players as nearly every American who has achieved success on the world’s tennis stage in the Open era has played the Easter Bowl, including current American stars Jack Sock, Stevie Johnson, John Isner, Madison Keys and CiCi Bellis.

 

The 50th annual Easter Bowl has returned as a designated USTA National Championship this year, meaning there will be gold, silver and bronze balls awarded for finalists and the third-place winner in all divisions. The 18s divisions will remain an ITF Level B1 event and closed to only the top U.S. junior players who will play for valuable ITF ranking points.

 

The site of the Easter Bowl is once again the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, home of the recently concluded BNP Paribas Open, and other tennis facilities and country clubs around the Coachella Valley.

 

The event begins Saturday with qualifying in the 12s and 14s divisions and will conclude with the ITF boys’ and girls’ division finals on Sunday, April 2.

 

Top players in the Boys’ ITF division include defending champion Gianni Ross, ranked No. 18 in the ITF Junior world rankings and expected to be seeded No. 2. Trent Bryde of Suwanee, Ga. Bryde, currently ranked No. 11 in the world rankings, played in the Australian Open Juniors main draw in January, and won both the singles and doubles at the Grade A ITF in Brazil in February. He beat fellow American Vasil Kirkov from Tampa., Fla., in the semifinals in three sets. Kirkov is the No. 19-ranked ITF player and comes in as the No. 3 Easter Bowl seed.

 

Bryde lost to eventual ITF champion Ross in the quarterfinals at last year’s Easter Bowl while Kirkov advanced to the semifinals before being taken out by runner-up John McNally. Sam Riffice, 2015 Easter Bowl 16s champion Oliver Crawford, Danny Thomas, Brian Cernoch and Patrick Kypson are other top players.

 

On the girls’ side, last year’s singles finalist Ellie Douglas of McKinney, Texas, returns and will likely be seeded within the top four as her current ITF ranking is No. 28. Taylor Johnson of Redondo Beach, Calif., will be the top-seeded player as she is ranked No. 14 the ITF. Johnson is coached by local Coachella Valley resident Rosie Casals. Carson Branstine from Orange, Calif., is the No. 2-seed and No. 15 in the world. Whitney Osuigwe recently received a WTA world ranking as she made it to the Round of 16 at the Tampa ITF Pro Futures tournament.

 

This Sunday night, Team USA will once again hold its annual awards night in conjunction with the player party, which includes a free meal to all players catered by the Old Spaghetti Factory in Rancho Mirage. The USTA has announced that Mike Gennette, coach of top juniors Claire Liu and Austen Huang, and Henner Nehles, coach of rising American 17-year old Kayla Day, were named as the 2016 Team USA Developmental Coaches of the Year as part of USTA Player Development’s annual Team USA Coaching Awards.

 

Other award winners include Smith Tennis in Indianapolis, recognized as the 2016 Team USA Developmental Program of the Year, while USTA Northern California was named the 2016 Team USA Player Development Section of the Year. Tennis icon Billie Jean King, renowned coach Rick Macci and University of Georgia legend Dan Magill are also being honored with Team USA Legendary Coaching Awards.

 

“This year the Adidas Easter Bowl is celebrating its 50th Anniversary and we are so fortunate to have the Indian Wells Tennis Garden as our host site for this prestigious event and I want to personally thank them,” Easter Bowl chairman Lornie Kuhle said. “The Adidas Easter Bowl is now a U.S. National Championship in all divisions: boys’ and girls’ 12s, 14s, 16, and 18s, making it the only National Championship in the country to host all divisions in one location. At this year’s BNP Paribas Open, nearly every American in the main draw had once played the Easter Bowl proving the Adidas Easter Bowl is truly a pathway to the pros.”

 

Once again this year, the Easter Bowl will allow $10,000 in travel grants that will be awarded evenly in the boys’ and girls’ ITF divisions beginning in the round of 16. The grants will take the form of vouchers for airline travel and hotel expenses. The travel grants will be awarded as follows: Winner and finalist: $750; semifinalist: $500; quarterfinalist: $325; Round of 16: $150.

 

In addition to live streaming the Easter Bowl again this year, Kuhle also announced the tournament’s updated mobile app, which can be found in both the Apple iTunes store or at Google Play. Search “Easter Bowl” to download the app.

 

Check back to www.easterbowl.com to watch the live stream and for all Easter Bowl news, results and schedules.

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Miomir Kecmanovic Wins Historic Second-Consecutive Orange Bowl Boys’ 18s Singles Title

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Miomir Kecmanovic poses with the Orange Bowl trophy (Rob Foldy / USTA)

Plantation, Fla. – If 17-year old Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic makes history on the pro tour like he has on the junior circuit, it will be hard to avoid comparing him to his 12-time Grand Slam champion countryman.

Kecmanovic won the Metropolia Orange Bowl Boys’ 18s singles title for the second consecutive year on Sunday, beating China’s Yibing Wu, 6-3, 6-1, on green clay at the Frank Veltri Tennis Center in Plantation, Fla.

Kecmanovic, who will finish the year as the world’s No. 1-ranked junior, is the third player in the Orange Bowl’s 70-year history to win consecutive Boys’ 18s singles titles, joining Billy Martin (1973-74) and Harold Solomon (1969-70).

Kecmanovic also joins Dominic Thiem (2011) and Andy Roddick (1999) as the only players to win the Boys’ 18s singles titles at both the Eddie Herr in Bradenton, Fla., and Orange Bowl in the same year, dating back to 1993 (the tournaments are played in consecutive weeks).

Each of those are achievements Novak Djokovic, never mind most other tennis players, never accomplished as a junior. Even so, Kecmanovic – who stays in touch and occasionally practices with Djokovic – knows he has plenty of work ahead of him as he transitions to a full-time pro career.

“It’s a great accomplishment. I’m very happy about it. I really didn’t put too much pressure into it, because I knew I would finish No. 1 no matter what I did here. I just went and I just played for myself and enjoyed every match,” said Kecmanovic, who moved to Bradenton in 2013 to train at the IMG Academy, where he is now coached by Marko Jovanovic.

“Obviously, this is very good to do here now, but it’s a lot more important to do after (in the pros),” he said. “I think next year the transition is going to be key for me, so we’ll see how it goes.”

Kaja Juvan reacts after match point in the Girls’ 18s singles final (Rob Foldy / USTA)

 

Slovenia’s Kaja Juvan certainly looked impressive enough to turn pro on Sunday. The 16-year old Juvan, seeded ninth this week, used a deft and diverse arsenal of groundstrokes and drop shots to stifle top-seeded and No. 1-ranked Russian Anastasia Potapova in a 6-1, 6-4 victory to win the Girls’ 18s title.

Consider this a victory that began in May for Juvan. That’s when she beat Potapova in their first meeting, at the Trofeo Bonfiglio junior event in Milan, before Potapova went on to win the Wimbledon girls’ singles title.

“More than anything else, I think I learned that it’s actually possible for me to beat some of the best players, because before that I didn’t kind of trust myself that I would be able to play with the best. That tournament gave me such a confidence boost, and that I can play with the best players, that I can beat them, I just shouldn’t be afraid of them,” Juvan said.

“I just told myself (today) that I have to just be focused on my game and play as diverse as I

can, because I know that that doesn’t suit her,” she said. “That’s what helped me. Also the wind a little bit. I took great advantage of it.”

Potapova agreed with that analysis, but took the loss in stride. The 15-year old Russian will still be the year-end No. 1-ranked junior in the world, and now plans to put junior tennis behind her.

“She likes to play against me, because it’s so comfortable to her. I chose the wrong style of tennis today. Next time, maybe,” Potapova said. “In the final, she did really well and she played her best tennis. All I can say is congrats to her and good job.”

Potapova did leave Plantation with a title, as she and Serbian Olga Danilovic beat Juvan and Croatian Lea Boskovic, 6-2, 3-6 [10-8], after a five-hour rain delay.

In an all-Japanese Boys 18s doubles final, fourth-seeded Toru Horie and Yuta Shimizu downed unseeded Shinji Hazawa and Naoki Tajima, 6-2, 6-1.

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USTA Girls’ 16s & 18s National Championships Results

 

Kayla Day

San Diego, Calif. – (August 14, 2016) – Top-seeded Kayla Day of Santa Barbara, Calif., capped an impressive run to the Girls’ 18s singles title at the USTA National Championships by winning a tough three-set final 6-2, 3-6, 6-1 over seventh-seeded Nicole Frenkel of Winchester, Mass.

In addition to being presented a USTA gold ball for winning the national championship, Day was awarded a wild card into the women’s singles main draw of the US Open, which will take place August 29 through September 11 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York.

Playing on Stadium Court at the Barnes Tennis Center, Day scored two early service breaks to take a 4-0 lead and would go on to win the first set 6-2 in 41 minutes. In the second set, Day broke Frenkel in the third game and then held serve for a 3-1 lead and appeared to be headed for a straight-set victory.

However, Frenkel cut down on her errors and found her groove and went on to win the next five games in a row to secure the second set 6-3 and send the match to a third and deciding set.

After both players held serve to begin the third set, Day took control of the deciding set, losing only seven points as she won the last five games in a row to secure the match and the championship.

“It feels amazing. I can’t even describe how good it feels. I’m just so happy. My serve really helped me out in the third set and I just played solid,” Day said.

“There were two turning points in the match. The first one was at 3-1 in the second set. She started playing better and my level (dropped) a little bit,” said Day, who will turn 17 in September. “The second turning point was when I broke her to go up 3-1 in the third.”

Carson Branstine of Orange, Calif., got past Amanda Anisimova of Aventura, Fla., 7-5, 5-7, 6-1 in the Girls’ 18s third-place playoff. Branstine was awarded a USTA bronze ball for her victory.

In the Girls’ 18s Doubles Championship, fifth-seeded Jada Hart of Colton, Calif., and Ena Shibahara of Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., defeated ninth-seeded Meible Chi of Weston, Fla., and Taylor Russo of Deerfield Beach, Fla., 6-1, 6-4 to win the title. Hart and Shibahara were awarded USTA gold balls after the match. They also received a US Open wild card into the women’s doubles main draw.

Complete scores and results for each division of the USTA Girls’ 16s & 18s Nationals Championships can be viewed at:  http://tennislink.usta.com/Tournaments/TournamentHome/Tournament.aspx?T=171037

In addition to the US Open wild cards that are traditionally awarded to the 16s and 18s singles champions and 18s doubles champions, additional wild cards for the US Open Junior Championships and wild cards to various USTA Women’s Pro Circuit tournaments will also be awarded this year.  For the complete list of wild cards to be awarded go to: http://www.ustagirlsnationals.com/about.html.

About USTA Girls’ 16s – 18s Nationals:
The USTA Girls’ 16 & 18s National Championships are the premiere hard court tennis tournaments for amateur and professional American girls aged 18 and 16 and under in the United States. In 2010, both age groups began playing their events concurrently at San Diego’s Barnes Tennis Center. Tournament participants, who represent nearly every state in the United States, have been endorsed by their respective USTA Section or have received USTA special exemptions based on their results in qualifying tournaments, junior rankings, or results on the WTA Tour or International Tennis Federation Junior Circuit.  Past tournament champions include Chris Evert, Tracy Austin, Andrea Jaeger, Zina Garrison, Mary Jo Fernandez, Jennifer Capriati and Lindsay Davenport.

About George E. Barnes Family Junior Tennis Center:
The Center is owned and operated by Youth Tennis San Diego. It was built in 1995 and completed in 1997. The $4.5 million junior tennis facility was made possible with generous public and private donations and is named after the lead donor family – the “George E. Barnes Family Junior Tennis Center.” The Center, which is dedicated to the youth of San Diego, offers children 18 and under court priority over adults with advanced reservations.

About Youth Tennis San Diego:
Youth Tennis San Diego is a non-profit 501 (c)(3) organization that has been in existence since 1952.  Earlier this year, Youth Tennis San Diego was recognized with the USTA Organization Member of the Year Award. The  award  is  given  annually  to  an  organization  that  provides  outstanding  service  to its members  and  to the  local  community. YTSD was honored at the USTA Annual Meeting and Conference, March 11-14, at the Omni La Costa Resort & Spa in Carlsbad, Calif.

The YTSD Mission is:  “To promote the educational, physical, and social development of all youth through organized tennis and educational activities.” Their community programs encourage youth participation, personal integrity, leadership, and competitive spirit in a friendly environment that builds responsible citizens.  YTSD provides thousands of youngsters each year the opportunity to play tennis after school at their neighborhood school. The After School Tennis program provides a safe haven for hundreds of youngsters who are not supervised after school. Through tennis, the children learn the success skills which will give them the confidence and self-esteem needed to confront the negative influences so often found on the streets where they live.
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USTA Girls’ 16s & 18s Nationals
Barnes Tennis Center
San Diego, Calif.
Sunday’s Results

Girls’ 18s Singles
Championship
Kayla Day (1), Santa Barbara, Calif., def. Nicole Frenkel (7), Winchester, Mass., 6-2, 3-6, 6-1

Third Place
Carson Branstine (17), Orange, Calif., def. Amanda Anisimova (5), Aventura, Fla., 7-5, 5-7, 6-1

Girls’ 18s Doubles
Championship
Jada Hart (5), Colton, Calif., and Ena Shibahara, Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., def. Meible Chi (9), Weston, Fla., and Taylor Russo, Deerfield Beach, Fla., 6-1, 6-4

rded go to: http://www.ustagirlsnationals.com/about.html.

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Player Field Announced for USTA Girls’ 16s & 18s National Championships

girls 16 18 s

San Diego, Calif. – (July 25, 2016) – Tournament officials have announced the field of competitors for the upcoming United States Tennis Association Girls’ 16 & 18s National Championships, which are scheduled to be played August 6-14, 2016 at the Barnes Tennis Center, 4490 W. Point Loma Blvd., San Diego, CA, 92107.

Nearly 400 girls aged 16 and 18 and under from across the United States and Puerto Rico will compete for the title of National Champion. The tournament will feature the top junior players from each of the 17 USTA Sections.

Defending 18s singles champion Sofia Kenin of Pembroke Pines, Fla., is among the players entered in this year’s event. Other entries in the Girls’ 18s division include 2016 Wimbledon Girls’ Singles semifinalist Kayla Day of Santa Barbara, Calif., and Usue Arconada of Rio Piedras, P.R. and Claire Liu of Thousand Oaks, Calif., who combined to win the Wimbledon Girls’ Doubles title earlier this month.

The complete player entry list for the USTA Girls’ 16s & 18s National Championships, can be viewed at:  http://tennislink.usta.com/Tournaments/TournamentHome/Tournament.aspx?T=171037#&&s=5

The tournament also features a strong contingent of San Diego-area players. The following local competitors are entered in this year’s USTA Girls’ Nationals:

Julia Deming, Fallbrook, Calif. —Girl’s 16s
Emily Dush
, Chula Vista, Calif. — Girl’s 16s
Elizabeth Goldsmith, Chula Vista, Calif. — Girl’s 16s
Julia Haynes
, San Diego, Calif. — Girl’s 16s
Amy Huang, San Diego, Calif. —    Girl’s 16s
Cali Jankowski
, Carlsbad, Calif. — Girl’s 16s
Jennifer Kerr, Carlsbad, Calif. — Girl’s 16s
Alexandra Kuo
, La Jolla, Calif. — Girl’s 16s
Nicole Mossmer, La Jolla, Calif. — Girl’s 16s
Britt Pursell
, Oceanside, Calif. — Girl’s 16s
Jennifer Richards, San Diego, Calif. — Girl’s 18s
Hannah Zhao
, San Diego, Calif. — Girl’s 18s

“We are very impressed with the depth of our player fields this year in the Girls’ 16s and 18s divisions and are anticipating a very competitive tournament throughout the week.” said Co-Tournament Director Liz Blum. “This is a great opportunity for fans to watch some great tennis as well as some future stars.”

The Girls’ 16s event will begin on Saturday, Aug. 6 and conclude with the singles and doubles finals on Saturday Aug. 13. The Girls’ 18s tournament will get underway on Sunday, Aug. 7 and conclude with the 18s singles championship on Sunday, Aug. 14. Both divisions will feature 192-player singles draws and doubles draws with 96 teams.

In addition to the US Open wild cards that are traditionally awarded to the 16s and 18s singles champions and 18s doubles champions, additional wild cards for the US Open Junior Championships and wild cards to various USTA Women’s Pro Circuit tournaments will also be awarded this year.  For the complete list of wild cards to be awarded, go to: http://www.ustagirlsnationals.com/about.html.

The Opening Ceremony for the USTA National Girls’ 16s & 18s National Championships is scheduled for 5 p.m. (PDT) on Saturday, Aug. 6 at the Barnes Tennis Center.

Early-round matches will also be played at San Diego State University’s Aztec Tennis Center, 5375 Remington Rd., San Diego, CA, 92115, from Saturday, Aug. 6 through Tuesday, Aug. 9.

Admission and on-site parking at the Barnes Tennis Center is free each day of the tournament. For fans watching matches at SDSU, admission is free, but there is a nominal charge for on-campus parking. University parking regulations will be strictly enforced.

About USTA Girls’ 16s – 18s Nationals:
The USTA Girls’ 16 & 18s National Championships are the premiere hard court tennis tournaments for amateur and professional American girls aged 18 and 16 and under in the United States. In 2010, both age groups began playing their events concurrently at San Diego’s Barnes Tennis Center. Tournament participants, who represent nearly every state in the United States, have been endorsed by their respective USTA Section or have received USTA special exemptions based on their results in qualifying tournaments, junior rankings, or results on the WTA Tour or International Tennis Federation Junior Circuit.  Past tournament champions include Chris Evert, Tracy Austin, Andrea Jaeger, Zina Garrison, Mary Jo Fernandez, Jennifer Capriati and Lindsay Davenport.

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Sofia Kenin and Ulises Blanch Lead US Juniors to Compete at the French Open Junior Championships

USTA Shield Logo

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., May 26, 2016 – Ulises Blanch, the No. 3-ranked junior in the world, and 2015 USTA Girls’ 18s National Champion and US Open girls’ finalist Sofia Kenin lead a deep field of American boys and girls currently set to compete at the French Open Junior Championships in Paris.

With 12 girls and nine boys entered into the main draw or qualifying, the U.S. has the most players entered into the Roland Garros junior draw via direct acceptance by a wide margin. China and Japan, the next-highest countries, each have eight. Additionally, two of the top three girls’ seeds will be American – No. 2 Amanda Anisimova and No. 3 Kayla Day.

American juniors will look to continue their recent success at the French Open. Three of the boys’ singles semifinalists were American last year, with Tommy Paul beating Taylor Fritz in the first all-American French Open boys’ singles final, dating back to 1947. CiCi Bellis also reached the girls’ semifinals in 2015, while Paul, William Blumberg, Caroline Dolehide and Katerina Stewart were all doubles finalists.

USTA Player Development National Coaches Leo Azevedo, Sylvain Guichard, Jamea Jackson, Henner Nehles and Adam Peterson will be providing support to all American players participating in the French Open junior championships. Players participating in the main draw will receive a $1250 grant from USTA Player Development, and those players’ full-time, personal coaches traveling with them to Paris will also receive a $1250 grant.

U.S. Girls in French Open Juniors

Main Draw

Amanda Anisimova (14, Hallandale Beach, Fla.; Coaches: Konstantin and Olga Anisimova, Nick Saviano)

Kayla Day (16, Santa Barbara, Calif.; Coaches: Henner Nehles, Mike Gennette)

Usue Arconada (17, College Park, Md.; Coach: Frank Salazar)

Sofia Kenin (17, Pembroke Pines, Fla.; Coach: Alex Kenin and Stephen Huss)

Alexandra Sanford (17, Westerville, Ohio; Coach: Henner Nehles)

Maria Mateas (16; Braintree, Mass.; Coach: Calin Mateas)

Michaela Gordon (16, Los Altos Hills, Calif.; Coach: Alex Poorta)

Morgan Coppoc (17, Tulsa, Okla.; Coach: Trent Tucker)

Caty McNally (14, Cincinnati; Coach: Lynn Nabors-McNally)

#Claire Liu (16, Thousand Oaks, Calif.; Coach: Adam Peterson, Mike Gennette)

#Received a special exemption main draw entry with her results at this week’s Astrid Bowl junior tournament in Belgium.

Qualifying

Ellie Douglas (15, McKinney, Texas; Coach: Luis Herrera)

Natasha Subhash (14, Fairfax, Va.; Coach: Bear Schofield)

U.S. Boys in French Open Juniors

Main Draw

Ulises Blanch (18, Pompano Beach, Fla; Coaches: Daniel Garcia, Rodrigo Alvarez, Claudio Menna)

John McNally (17, Cincinnati; Coach: Lynn Nabors-McNally)

J.J. Wolf (17, Cincinnati; Coach: David Kass)

Nathan Ponwith (18, Scottsdale, Ariz.; Coach: Lou Belken)

Sam Riffice (17, Roseville, Calif.; Coach: Lori Riffice)

Vasil Kirkov (17, Tampa, Fla.; Coaches: Leo Azevedo, Stoyan Kirkov)

*Brandon Holt (18, Rolling Hills, Calif.; Coach: Peter Lucassen)

Qualifying

Oliver Crawford (17, Spartanburg, S.C.; Coaches: Anthony Stewart, Kelly Jones)

Gianni Ross (17, Chicago; Coaches: Jack Sharpe, Robbye Poole)

* Received a main draw wild card through a reciprocal agreement with the French Tennis Federation.

 

 

Related Article:

Defending Champion Sofia Kenin Headlines Orange Bowl

A First Round Loss at US Open for Sofia Kenin Provides the “Best Experience”

 

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Line-up Confirmed for 2016 ITF Junior Masters

ITF

(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:

 

Women’s singles


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)

 

Men’s singles


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.

 

Related article:

A First Round Loss at US Open for Sofia Kenin Provides the “Best Experience”

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USTA Eastern Junior Awards Gala

Junior player Matthew Gamble receives his award from Justin Gimelstob and Katrina Adams at the Junior Awards Gala on Day 1 at the US Open.

Junior player Matthew Gamble receives his award from Justin Gimelstob and Katrina Adams at the Junior Awards Gala on Day 1 at the US Open.

By Dave Gertler

(August 25, 2014) FLUSHING MEADOWS – The achievements of USTA Eastern juniors in tournaments over the last 12 months, and the dedication of their families, was celebrated at the Billie Jean King USTA National Tennis Center before the first ball was struck at the US Open on Monday, at the 2014 Junior Awards Gala. Future stars of American tennis gathered to hear guest speakers, including former professional player and current Tennis Channel broadcaster Justin Gimelstob, honor the achievements of 30 junior players, as well as present awards to the top three in each age group.

 

“As you see out there today, for the next 15 days, this is an incredible sport,” said Gimelstob, “This sport challenges you in a way physically, mentally, tactically, emotionally, that almost nothing else can compete with, in an individual way. To find enjoyment in that, you’re a unique bunch.”

 

First Vice President of the USTA, and former world No.8 doubles player Katrina Adams, also praised the dedication of the kids and their families. While the complete list of award-winners from each age group is listed below, there were a small group of players who won awards in multiple age categories.

 

“I play every day, try to get better every day,” said Matthew Gamble, who was the top achiever in the 16s Boys category, as well as third overall in the 18s. “It’s a big part of my life.” Gamble cites the interaction with other players as an important part of the sport for him, saying, “Lately I’ve done more and more team events, so the team aspect and just playing your best, giving 100%.”

 

The junior from Rochester doesn’t want to stop here. While his favorite player, Rafael Nadal, was absent from the US Open this year, perhaps Gamble might one day find himself facing his idol at his home slam. “I obvioiusly want to play college tennis,” said Gamble, “And then after college, I’m gonna try to go pro and make it on the pro tour.”

 

The USTA Eastern Section, based in White Plains, N.Y., is a not-for-profit community service organization whose mission is to promote and develop the growth of tennis. The section encompasses all of New York State, Northern New Jersey and Greenwich, Conn. It is one of 17 geographic sections of the United States Tennis Association, the governing body of tennis in the United States, and supports more than 49,000 members.

 

Exceptional players recognized at the Awards Gala:

 

Boys’ 10s:

1. Ty Switzer (New York, N.Y.)
2. Evan Wen (Morristown, N.J.)
3. Julian Wu (Tenafly, N.J.)

Girls’ 10s:

1. Stephanie Yakoff (Fort Lee, N.J.)
2. Amaya Goulbourne (Pelham, N.Y.)
3. Hailey Stoerback (Saint James, N.Y.)

Boys’ 12s:

1. Billy Suarez (Huntington, N.Y.)
2. Jeffrey Fradkin (New York, N.Y.)
3. Ronan Jachuck (Slingerlands, N.Y.)

Girls’ 12s:

1. Rosie Garcia Gross (New York, N.Y.)
2. Gabriella Price (Montebello, N.Y.)
3. Alexa Noel (Summit, N.J.)

Boys’ 14s:

1. Sean Wei (Yorktown Heights, N.Y.)
2. Ronan Jachuck (Slingerlands, N.Y.)
3. Michael Sun (Livingston, N.J.)

Girls’ 14s:

1. Rachel Lim (Braircliff Manor, N.Y.)
2. Lea Ma (Dix Hills, N.Y.)
3. Anna Brylin (Short Hills, N.J.)

Boys’ 16s:

1. Matthew Gamble (Webster, N.Y.)
2. Brenden Volk (Dix Hills, N.Y.)
3. Jordan Benjamin (Fairport, N.Y.)

Girls’ 16s:

1. Stephanie Schrage (Millburn, N.J.)
2. Rachel Lim (Braircliff Manor, N.Y.)
3. Sabrina Xiong (Fresh Meadows, N.Y.)

Boys’ 18s:

1. Daniel Grunberger (Great Neck, N.Y.)
2. Daniel Kerznerman (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
3. Matthew Gamble (Webster, N.Y.)

Girls’ 18s:

1. Katharine Fahey (Fair Haven, N.J.)
2. Sabrina Xiong (Fresh Meadows, N.Y.)
3. Rima Asatrian (Tenafly, N.J.)

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A Learning Experience for Collin Altamirano at the US Open

 

(August 27, 2013) FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – Collin Altamirano is a 17-year-old junior tennis player from Yuba City, California who gained entry into the main draw through a wild card earned when he won the USTA Boys 18 National Championship earlier this month in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Altamarino won Kalamazoo as an unseeded player.

“It was a big win at the biggest American tournament for juniors so it was fun. It was a nice for me to win that and obviously I get to play here,” said the Californian who trains at Arden Hills.

“I was unseeded. I felt that I should have been but I just haven’t played as many junior tournaments. I’ve played two this year. I did not get a high enough ranking.”

“Going into Kalamazoo I knew I was one of the top five or six players with a chance to win it,” he noted.

Altamirano took on 22nd seed Phillip Kohlschreiber of Germany in the first match on court 11 on Tuesday, and not surprisingly fell to the 29-year-old ATP World Tour veteran 6-1, 6-3, 6-1 in 85 minutes, in his very first main draw of a grand slam event.

Walking onto the court Altamirano said he felt relieved, despite a very probable outcome against him.

“This has been one of my goals in life to play here and to do it at a pretty young age,” he said. “I felt pretty good about myself. I was pretty happy. It’s nice to kinda get this out of the way be able to know that I can come back here and play again.”

“It was a lot of fun,” the Yuba City native continued. “First Grand slam I’ve ever played. Obviously he’s a very good player.

“I knew there was going to be a big difference. There is a big difference between a guy who won juniors and someone 20 in the world.

“Big step up from juniors when playing challengers and futures events. It’s been a good learning experience.”

This young Californian began to learn the game at five, inspired by his mother Anne who played tournaments locally.

“She had big dreams for me and got me into this game. She did a very good job,” he said with a smile.

As for Altamirano, what does the future hold for him? He intends to continue to play juniors, challengers and futures events. He’ll be playing the California swing later this year.

“I like my chances to go pro, but this year is going to decide it for me,” said Altamirano.

His US Open is not over yet, he’ll be competing in the junior tournament in both singles and doubles.

 

Karen Pestaina for Tennis Panorama

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Top-Seeded Sachia Vickery Set to Face 2nd Seeded Alexandra Kiick in USTA Girls’ 18 Singles Final

Sachia Vickery

Sachia Vickery

San Diego, Calif. – (August 10, 2013) – After an exciting day of semifinal action at the Barnes Tennis Center, the stage has been set for Sunday’s singles final at the USTA Girl’s 18s National Championship, where a wild card into the women’s main draw of the US Open awaits the winner.

On a cool Saturday morning under mostly sunny skies, second-seeded Alexandra Kiick of Plantation, Fla., defeated fourth-seeded Taylor Townsend of Boca Raton, Fla., 1-6, 6-4, 6-1. In the day’s second semifinal, top-seeded Sachia Vickery of Miramar, Fla., continued her strong tournament run as she over-powered sixth-seeded Brooke Austin of Indianapolis, Ind., 6-1, 6-3.

Sunday’s final, which will begin not before 11:30 a.m. (PDT) on Stadium Court, will feature two players who are ranked in the Top 300 in the Women’s Tennis Association rankings. Vickery is ranked 230 in the world, while Kiick sits at 297 in the world.

“It’s going to be tough. Obviously we’re really good friends,” Kiick said. “We just basically said, ‘May the best person win tomorrow.’ It’s going to be a great experience for both of us, whoever wins or loses.”

Following their semifinal singles victories, Vickery and Kiick teamed to play in the Girls’ 18s doubles final on Saturday afternoon. The second seeds knocked off the top-seeded team of Townsend and Gabrielle Andrews of Pomona, Calif., 6-3, 6-4, to win the title and a wild card into the women’s doubles draw at the upcoming US Open.

One year made all the difference for 16-year-old Katerina Stewart of Miami. Last year she lost in the Girls’ 16s final, but on Saturday, the second-seeded Stewart captured the USTA Girls’ 16 singles championship with a 6-4, 6-1 victory over top-seeded Ena Shibahara of Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.

In addition to being awarded a USTA Gold Ball for winning the USTA Girls’ 16s singles title, Stewart also earned a wild card into the US Open Junior Girls’ singles competition.

Tournament officials named Megan McCray of Oceanside, Calif. as the Babolat Player of the Day. The 18-year-old local player, who was seeded 33rd, reached the fourth round of the main draw before dropping a hard-fought 6-4, 6-2 decision to top-seeded Sachia Vickery. McCray then entered the consolation draw where she reached Sunday’s consolation final.

The award, which is presented to a player each day of the event, is based equally on competitive achievement and sportsmanship.

Nearly 400 girls aged 16 and 18 and under competed for the title of National Champion, as well as a Wild Card entry into the singles main draw of the US Open Women’s Championships (for the 18s Champion) and a Wild Card into the US Open Junior Championships (for the 16s Champion). The 18s Doubles Champions also received a Wild Card into the main draw of the US Open Women’s Doubles.

Spectator admission and on-site parking at the Barnes Tennis Center is free.

For Sunday’s full order of play, go to: http://www.ustagirlsnationals.com/Home_Page.php
To view the complete tournament draws go to: http://tennislink.usta.com/Tournaments/TournamentHome/Tournament.aspx?T=121938

About USTA Girls’ 16s – 18s Nationals:
The USTA Girls’ 16s Nationals has been directed by Youth Tennis San Diego (YTSD) since 1990. This year will be the 24th anniversary of this event in San Diego, and 2013 marks the fourth year of the combined G16s – G18s event at the Barnes Tennis Center. As the largest and most prestigious junior girls’ tennis event in the United States, the USTA National Championships field consists of two draws, 192 players in each, selected from the top players who enter the event. The participants represent every USTA Member Section and nearly every state in the United States.

About Youth Tennis San Diego:
The USTA Girls’ Nationals is the most prestigious of over 40 tournament events held at the Barnes Tennis Center each year. The Center is owned and operated by Youth Tennis San Diego, a non-profit 501 (c)(3) organization that has been in existence since 1952. The YTSD Mission is: “To promote the educational, physical, and social development of all youth through organized tennis and educational activities. Our community programs encourage youth participation, personal integrity, leadership, and competitive spirit in a friendly environment that builds responsible citizens.” For information on sponsoring the USTA Girls’ Nationals or to be a tournament volunteer, please contact the Barnes Tennis Center at 619-221-9000.

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