Friday, July 12, 2013

Crawford, Duval and Hardebeck Enter USTA 18s Nationals; USTA Clay Court Wild Cards

The competitors selected for the USTA National Hard Court Championships next month were released today at the individual TennisLink sites.

The girls 18s field produced some of the most interesting names, with many players who have moved on to pro tennis and have played very little junior tennis in the past year entering in hopes of securing the wild card into the US Open main draw that goes to the winner.

US Open Girls champion Samantha Crawford, defending 18s National champion Vicky Duval and Stanford rising sophomore Krista Hardebeck are in the field, as are Allie Kiick, Chalena Scholl and Sachia Vickery.  Jan Abaza, who hasn't played a junior event since the 2010 Orange Bowl, also received entry. Two of the Wimbledon girls quarterfinalists--Jamie Loeb and Louisa Chirico--are in the field, but Wimbledon girls finalist Taylor Townsend is not.  Others not currently in the field include Christina Makarova, Johnnise Renaud, Katrine Steffensen and Tornado Alicia Black, all in the Top 80 of the ITF Junior world rankings.

Of course, there are still wild cards to be named, with the deadline for applying for a wild card Tuesday, July 16 at 5 p.m. Eastern.

The girls 16s field has two reigning Eddie Herr champions--12s winner Ellie Douglas and 16s champion Marie Norris.  Katerina Stewart is also entered in the 16s field.

Notables missing from the girls Nationals in any age division are Claire Liu, CiCi Bellis, Jaeda Daniel and Michaela Gordon, who may be representing the United States in the ITF World Junior Tennis competition held in the Czech Republic August 5-10.

The list of the girls 16s and 18s competitors is here.

The Kalamazoo 16s field will be especially strong this year, with Easter Bowl 16s champion Sameer Kumar, Francis Tiafoe and Tommy Paul all playing in that division. 

Wimbledon quarterfinalist Stefan Kozlov is again entered in the 18s, despite being only 15, and Michael Mmoh will make his Kalamazoo debut in the 18s.  2011 16s champion Ronnie Schneider is entered, as is 2012 16s champion Henrik Wiersholm, who is only 16. Thai Kwiatkowski, who has been injured throughout the summer, is currently in, as is Ernesto Escobedo.  Spring National champion Eliott Orkin is in the field, as is Easter Bowl champion Gage Brymer.

Winter National champion George Goldhoff is not in the current acceptances, nor is Dennis Uspensky, who is in the ITF Top 100.  Tommy Mylnikov, who played the 16s last year, is not among the 18s entrants this year.

For the complete list of the boys 16s and 18s competitors, see the TennisLink site.

The Clay Courts begin on Sunday, and I will be covering the girls 18s tournament in Memphis for the sixth consecutive year.  Below is the list of USTA wild cards granted for the tournaments.

USTA Clay Court Wild Cards:

Boys 12s
Josh Berman
Tauheed Browning
Benjamin Kittay

Boys  14s
Trent Kannegieter
Adam Neff
Beau Pelletier
Bryce Periera
Ivan Thamma

Boys 16s 
Yancy Dennis
Mark Epshteyn-Losev
Cameron Klinger
Alex Rybakov

Boys 18s
Justin Butsch
Xavier  Gonzalez
Carter Lin
Lamar Remy
Javier Restrepo

Girls 12s
Hailey  Baptiste
Cori Gauff 
Katherine Kachkarov
Madison Leal
Charlotte Owensby
Gabriella Price
Sierra Sandy

Girls 14s
Amanda Anisimova
Angelica Blake
Taylor Bridges
Riley McQuaid
Jada Robinson
Vanessa Streng 

Girls 16s
Usue Arconada
Ashley Chao
Jaeda Daniel
Jacqueline Pelletier
Amanda Rebol
Sydney Riley
Morgan Valentine
Tracy Van
Kylie Wilcox
Nicole Yermanos

Girls 18s
Mary Haffey
Josie Kuhlman
Arianna Rodriguez
Claire Sullivan