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Saturday, October 19, 2013

Entry Deadlines for Orange Bowl, Junior Orange Bowl; Abierto Juvenil Grade A Moves to December 2014; Looking Ahead to 2014 Youth Olympic Games

Entrance to Plantation's Veltri Tennis Center, home of Orange Bowl 
 Several deadlines for the upcoming major junior events in Florida are approaching. The deadline for the Eddie Herr 12s, 14s, and 16s, was earlier this month, but the deadline for its ITF Grade 1 event, which begins December 2, is not until November 5th. Although the ITF Grade A Orange Bowl, apparently with a new sponsor in Metropolia, takes place a week after the Eddie Herr, the Orange Bowl entry deadline is a week earlier: October 29.

The current entry lists for the 16s are posted on the tournament website.  Sameer Kumar, Kyle Seeling. Chan-Yeong Oh, Claire Liu and CiCi Bellis are prominent names already entered.

Entries for the Junior Orange Bowl 12s and 14s competition, held from December 17-23 in Miami, are due Thursday, October 24, 2013.  World No. 3 Andy Murray, the 1999 12s champion, is serving as the Honorary Chairman of the event this year.

Last month I posted on the move of the Grade A Abierto Juvenil Mexicano, traditionally the first tournament of the new year, to a place on the calendar after the Orange Bowl in December.  I had thought that would mean an extra Grade A for 2014, but it will not. The tournament will not be held this December at all, with the Costa Rica Grade 1 the first major ITF junior tournament of 2014. Players with points to defend from last December's Abierto Juvenil will not have to do so until December 2014, meaning a good showing there last December will stay on their record for nearly two years, if they are still age-eligible in 2014. The ITF junior schedule for January-June of 2014 is available here, and there are no new US tournaments on it, with Claremont (Grade 4), Carson(1), Easter Bowl(B1), Delray Beach(4), Plantation(4), Daytona Beach(4) and Philadelphia(4) the seven US-based tournaments.

Speaking of extra Grade A's, however, there will be one in 2014: the Youth Olympic Games. The first such competition was held in 2010 in Singapore, and because it was in Southeasty Asia in August, just after the USTA National Championships, there was no US presence in the tennis competition. That may be the case again next year, with the tournament in Nanjing, China from August 16-28. Not only is the tournament a Grade A, but it offers bonus points as well, so it can be quite lucrative for those who make the long trip, or live in the vicinity.

Some of you might be wondering what happened to the new USTA Masters tournament planned for late October in the revised junior competition schedule (explanation of event in pdf here), as I know I was. I was told, due to scheduling conflicts, that it might be held in November or December instead.