US Teams Announced for ITF 14-and-Under World Junior Tennis Competition; ITF Junior Update; Kosakowski, Johnson Fall in LA
The USTA announced the names of the players representing the United States in the ITF World Junior Tennis competition for players 14 and under August 1 though August 6. Mike Sell will coach the boys team of Stefan Kozlov, Eduardo Nava and Henrik Wiersholm, while Troy Hahn will coach the girls team of Julia O'Loughlin, Cristina Rovira and Katerina Stewart. I suspect the boys team will be one of the top seeds, with perhaps Romania, but with only O'Loughlin playing internationally in the winter Tennis Europe tournaments, I doubt the girls will be. The US girls have won the past four championships, an unprecedented streak. The US boys last won in 2008.
The complete release can be found at usta.com. The fact sheet and names of the other countries participating can be found at the ITF junior website.
Last week the European Championships were held, which are the equivalent of our US National Championships, although arguably, given the recent shift of tennis power overseas, more prestigious. The winners were:
Nastja Kolar(6), Slovenia def. Sofiya Kovalets(8), Ukraine 6-1, 6-2
Roberto Carballes Baena(1), Spain def. Dimitar Kuzmanov, Bulgaria, 7-5 7-6(2)
Jade Suvrijn(15), France def. Sara Sorribes Tormo, Spain 6-1, 6-4
Enzo Couacaud(3), France, def. Elias Ymer, Sweden 6-2, 6-1
Ana Konjuh(2), Croatia def. Belinda Bencic(4), Switzerland 6-4, 3-6, 6-1
Bogdan Borza(2) Romania, def. Nicolae Frunza(3), Romania 6-4, 6-2
For complete draws, see the Tennis Europe website.
Last week in Jamaica, Richard Del Nunzio and Blair Shankle of the US claimed singles titles at the ITF Grade 4. It is Shankle's second title this month. Del Nunzio defeated fellow American Austin Siegel 3-6, 7-6(4), 6-3. Both Shankle and Del Nunzio were the top seeds. Siegel won the doubles title with Walner Espinoza of Panama, their second doubles title in the past two tournaments.
At the Farmers Classic in Los Angeles last night, NCAA champion Steve Johnson lost to Gilles Muller of Luxembourg 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 in the first round, and today Dan Kosakowski was beaten by Ernests Gulbis of Latvia 6-2, 6-4 in the second round of the ATP event. The Los Angeles Times spoke to both about their futures on the professional tour, with Kosakowski explaining why he was leaving UCLA after one year, and Johnson discussing his return to USC for his final semester of eligibility, although playing professional events as an amateur the rest of this year.