World's Top Junior Tennis Players to Compete
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — The USTA announced today the acceptance lists for the 63rd Dunlop Orange Bowl International Tennis Championships, which begins Sunday, December 6, at the Crandon Park Tennis Center in Key Biscayne, Fla. The qualifying draw will take place beginning Friday, December 4. The Dunlop Orange Bowl features singles and doubles competition for boys and girls in 18-and-under and 16-and-under divisions.
“The Dunlop Orange Bowl provides our top junior players a chance to play world-class competition right here in the U.S. in one of the marquee junior tournaments in the world,” said tournament director Lew Brewer, who also serves as Director, Junior Competition, USTA Player Development. “The tournament traditionally draws a number of the world’s top junior players and often determines the year-end No. 1 players in the ITF Junior Circuit, and this year we received a record number of entrants in all four draws.”
The Boys’ 18s field includes three of the top 10 players in the world, led by Daniel Berta of Sweden, currently the top-ranked player in the ITF World Junior Rankings and the winner of the boys’ singles title at Roland Garros. Gianni Mina of France, who lost to Berta in the final at Roland Garros and reached the boys’ singles semifinals at the US Open, is also entered.
Denis Kudla of Arlington, Va., and Raymond Sarmiento of Fontana, Calif., will lead the American contingent. Kudla captured the Boys’ 16s title at the 2008 Dunlop Orange Bowl, and is currently the highest-ranked American in the ITF World Junior Rankings at No. 22. Sarmiento swept the singles and doubles titles at the International Grass Court Championships in June, and took third place at the 2009 USTA Boys’ 18s National Championships.
The Girls’ 18s field features two of this year’s Grand Slam winners, led by Kristina Mladenovic of France, currently No. 1 in the ITF World Junior Rankings, and No. 3 Heather Watson of Great Britain. Mladenovic won the girls’ singles title at the French Open, and was a finalist in girls’ singles at Wimbledon. Watson won the girls’ singles title at the US Open, and is currently No. 3 in the ITF World Junior Rankings.
The American contingent is led by world No. 29 Beatrice Capra of Ellicott City, Md., who won her first professional title in October at the USTA Pro Circuit $10,000 event in Williamsburg, Va.; world No. 42 Ester Goldfeld of Brooklyn, N.Y., who recently won an ITF Junior Circuit event in Lexington, S.C., and won the International Hard Court Championships in August; and 14-year-old Madison Keys of Boca Raton, Fla., who won her WTA Tour debut in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., in April, and reached the Girls’ 16s final at the 2008 Dunlop Orange Bowl.
A complete list of American players entered in the Dunlop Orange Bowl is below.
Founded by Eddie Herr in 1947, the Orange Bowl quickly became one of the premier international junior events in the world, and an annual showcase for the global scope of the game. Players from more than 50 countries have competed in the tournament, and champions have emerged from 24 different nations. Often, the race for the year-end world No. 1 ranking - and the title of ITF World Junior Champion - comes down to the Dunlop Orange Bowl, and a number of Dunlop Orange Bowl champions have used the occasion to announce plans to turn professional.
In 1998, the event moved from the clay courts at Flamingo Park in Miami Beach to the hard courts of its current location in Key Biscayne. World No. 1 Roger Federer and 2008 women’s singles Olympic gold medalist Elena Dementieva were the first 18s champions at this event on hard courts.
Other past winners of the Orange Bowl 18-and-under singles titles include: Chris Evert (1969, 1970), Bjorn Borg (1972), John McEnroe (1976), Ivan Lendl (1977), Gabriela Sabatini (1984), Mary Joe Fernandez (1986), Jim Courier (1987) and Anna Kournikova (1995). Andy Roddick (1999), Vera Zvonareva (2000, 2001), Marcos Baghdatis (2003) and Nicole Vaidisova (2003) all won the event on hard courts.
For more information on the 2009 Dunlop Orange Bowl, visit dunloporangebowl.com.
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