Australian Junior Open Field ~~~
The acceptances for the Australian Junior Open are out, and there is some disappointing recent news. Neither Donald Young nor Marin Cilic, ranked one and two in the world, are playing. I knew late last week that Cilic wasn't going to make the trip; he was at the Junior Orange Bowl for a few hours after getting back from Mexico and before his flight home to Croatia. I asked him if he was finished with juniors, and he said no, he planned on playing Roland Garros and Wimbledon, but he wasn't playing Australia.
As the reigning champion, Young has lots of points to defend, and he is also not playing the current Grade A in Mexico City, which he won last year, so his time at the top may end. I'm hoping that he plays the Futures swing in Florida next month, which will give him another chance at the level above juniors.
I've also heard that no USTA High Performance coach will be going to Australia, but John Roddick will be taking his crew, which doesn't include Kellen Damico anymore. Rich Benvin will coach Damico in Australia.
I presume that any player who has made it into the main draw will make the trip--as of today, that means only six boys from the U.S. On the girls side, only four are currently in the main draw, and that includes Alexa Glatch, who is still recovering from her broken elbow. Although I've been assured that her recovery is on schedule, her recent withdrawal from the Grade 1 the week prior to the AO Junior event isn't good news.