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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Kalamazoo Wild Cards; US Open Junior Acceptances Feature Strong Girls Field

The USTA has determined the wild cards for the boys 16s and 18s Nationals in Kalamazoo, and unlike last year, when the maximum of 12 wild cards were distributed in the 18s and seven in the 16s, this year only a total of 11 were given out.

Boys 18s:
Jared Donaldson
Connor Farren
George Goldhoff
Maxx Lipman
Quentin Monaghan

Boys 16s:
Jacob Brumm
Michael Chen
Spencer Richey
Alex Rybakov
Oliver Sec
Brenden Volk

Donaldson, 16, has been playing Futures and other professional events the last two months and has won a total of four matches in Futures and one in ATP qualifying.  Farren, who was the top seed in the Kalamazoo 16s two years ago, has played only Futures tournament this year, and his ATP ranking is inside the Top 1000.  Goldhoff, who played only the Easter Bowl this year in junior competition, has been playing Futures this summer. Lipman has had back trouble throughout his junior career, and has played very little this year.  Monaghan has completed his freshman year at Notre Dame, where he played mostly at the No. 2 position, going 26-9 overall.

Alex Rybakov would have received entry in the 18s with his ranking, but may have decided to request a wild card into the 16s. The winner of the 16s gets a US Open Junior Championships main draw wild card.

The US Open Junior Championships acceptances were revealed today, with ten Americans receiving direct entry, five girls and five boys.

The US girls, with their current ITF ranking in parentheses:

Taylor Townsend(5)
Louisa Chirico (10)
Christina Makarova (21)
Jamie Loeb (32)
Sachia Vickery (received direct entry due to WTA ranking of 241)

Accepted into qualifying are Johnnise Renaud(48), Katrine Steffensen(67) and Brooke Austin, who received direct entry into qualifying by virtue of her WTA ranking of 456.

ITF Top 100 American girls who are alternates, that is are not even in qualifying, are: Rianna Valdes(91), Madison Bourguignon(93) and Dasha Ivanova(97)

The US boys accepted into the main draw:

Stefan Kozlov(15)
Noah Rubin(26)
Thai Kwiatkowski(29)
Luca Corinteli(44)
Martin Redlicki(50)

US boys in qualifying are Spencer Papa(59) and Michael Mmoh(82).

ITF Top 100 American boys who are alternates are Francis Tiafoe(89) and Dennis Uspensky(100).

The girls field is right up there with this year's French Junior Championships as strength of field goes.  The Top 13 girls in the ITF junior rankings are entered, with No. 1 Belinda Bencic of Switzerland going for her third straight junior slam singles title.  Among the Top 40, only No. 14 Carol Zhao of Canada, No. 26 Elizaveta Kulichkova of Russia and reigning champion Samantha Crawford(40) are missing. 

Along with Vickery, three other girls received entry based on their WTA rankings, which must be 350 or better:  Mayo Hibi of Japan, ranked 261; Sara Sorribes Tormo of Spain, ranked 338; and Mayya Katsidadze of Russia, ranked 323.  With Sandra Samir of Egypt taking the Africa spot in the draw,* and Sara Tomic the Oceania spot, that puts the main draw cutoff for the girls at 43.  The cutoff for qualifying is now 80, but that is likely to move into the 100s in the next few weeks.

The boys field is missing four of the top 15 players, with No. 1 Nick Kyrgios of Australia, No. 8 Fillipo Baldi of Italy, No. 9 Pedro Cachin of Argentina and No. 14 Wayne Montgomery not entered.  Other notable absences are Great Britain's Kyle Edmund(24), Mexico's Lucas Gomez(32) and Canada's Hugo DiFeo(45).

No boy received entry into the main draw by virtue of his ATP ranking, leaving the main draw cutoff at 53. But Calvin Hemery of France received entry into the qualifying with his ATP ranking, which is 709. Roger Siller of Mexico received a qualifying entry based on the Central American and Caribbean exemption below.

Applications for US Open junior wild cards can still be filed through Sunday, July 28.  The procedure is available in this online brochure.

*the explanation for admittance to these players, from the ITF regulations: In addition the highest ranked entrant from each of the following areas – South America, North America, Central America and Caribbean, Europe, Asia, Africa and Oceania, if not already included in a) or b) above shall be accepted for main draw if their ranking is 80 or higher or qualifying if their ranking is 150 or higher. (Note: a & b are ITF junior ranking and WTA/ATP ranking).