USTA 14-and-Under Teams for Europe Trip Finalized; Fratangelo in Coffee Bowl Semis; Mitchell Frank Profile, Maria Smith Featured in USTA Texas Blog
The USTA announced today the eight players-four boys and four girls-who are traveling to England and France for the two major 14-and-under events there this month. The Aegon International, previously known as Teen Tennis, is the first tournament, and it begins in Bolton, England on January 17th. Les Petits As in Tarbes, France, begins on January 24 and runs through the 30th. Last month I published the names of three of the boys who were invited, with Henrik Wiersholm and Francis Tiafoe winning the round robin tournament at Boca Raton and Stefan Kozlov being confirmed as a wild card. Eduardo Nava was added during the Junior Orange Bowl tournament. There was no tournament for the girls, with Kenadi Hance, Julia O'Loughlin, Carolyn Xie and Nicole Frenkel selected. The first three were known during the Junior Orange Bowl, but Frenkel played her way into consideration by winning the 12s. USTA National coach Kent Kinnear is accompanying the boys and USTA coach Troy Hahn will oversee the girls on the trip. For the complete list of players, with their accomplishments, see this press release from the USTA.
Today at the Coffee Bowl in Costa Rica, No. 2 seed Bjorn Fratangelo of the U.S. advanced to the semifinals against No. 4 seed Julien Cagnina of Belgium with a 6-4, 6-4 victory over No. 10 seed Pedja Krstin of Serbia. Fratangelo, who is the last American boy or girl remaining in singles, beat Cagnina in the second round at the Eddie Herr. For more results, see the tournament website.
Mitchell Frank is the subject of this Tennis Recruiting Network profile by Sonny Dearth. There are a host of reasons a junior player would set the goal of playing in a junior slam, and not the least of those is the opportunity to hit with the world's best players, as Frank did with Federer. It seems that this is more common among the men than the women, but I can't really come up with a good reason why this might be so. Anyway, Frank won't be playing anymore in junior slams (he's aged out, turning 19 in October), but the three Florida Futures this month are on his schedule.
Ali Jones will be providing the Tennis Recruiting Network with a recap of the Winter Nationals next week, but for a sneak preview, you can read her entry about girls 14s champion Maria Smith of Houston on her USTA Texas junior tennis blog.