Although February is a quiet month for major ITF junior tournaments, the lower level events continue at their usual pace, presenting younger players with an opportunity to gain points and experience while the older juniors frequently compete in low level pro events.
Thirteen-year-old Michaela Gordon, who reached the semifinals at Aegon Teen Tennis and the quarterfinals at Les Petits As, moved from Europe to Mexico City for a Grade 4 there, just the third ITF junior tournament of her career. Gordon won it unseeded, dropping only one set in her six wins and defeating No. 4 seed Olivia Hauger of the US 6-4, 6-4 in the final. Emma Critser of the US teamed with Ayla Aksu of Turkey to win the doubles title.
In New Zealand, Mira Ruder-Hook won her second ITF Grade 4 of the year there last week, running her record in three tournaments In New Zealand to 13-1. The 16-year-old from Denver, seeded 11th, beat No. 13 seed Mayu Okawa of Japan 6-0, 6-3 in the final. At the beginning of the year, her ITF junior ranking was outside the Top 1000; it is now at 369.
The Grade 2 Inka Bowl in Peru produced one US winner, with Farzin Danny Amiri taking the doubles title with Kevin Major of the Bahamas. Madison Bourguignon and Dasha Ivanova of the US reached the singles semifinals. Orange Bowl 16s champion Gloria Liang of Canada won the title.
Seventeen-year-old left-hander Yoshihito Nishioka of Japan qualified into the $15,000 Futures in Mexico last week and ended up winning the tournament without dropping a set in any of his eight wins. He beat former Tulsa No. 1 Marcelo Arevalo of El Salvador 6-2, 7-6(4) in the final. It is the first Futures title for the 2012 US Open boys championships semifinalist.
Former Texas Longhorn Ed Corrie continued his great start to 2013 with his second Futures title of year in his home country of Great Britain. The 24-year-old Corrie, who is 16-2 this year in Futures play, finished his straight-set run through the $10,000 tournament's draw with a 6-4, 6-1 win over Daniel Smethurst of Great Britain in the final. Corrie's only two losses this year have come to Americans: Eric Quigley and Christian Harrison. Former LSU Tiger Neal Skupski won the doubles with Lewis Burton, also of Great Britain.
Former Ohio State Buckeye and 2009 NCAA finalist Steven Moneke won his fifth Futures title and his first outside of his home country of Germany last week in Turkey. The No. 6 seed, Moneke, 26, beat teenage qualifier Mathias Bourge of France 6-2, 6-3 in the final of the $10,000 tournament. Moneke, who is at a career-high 345 in the ATP rankings, will go higher once those points are added, which should help him get into qualifying of challengers, a welcome step up from continuing on the financially ruinous Futures circuit.