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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Changes in 2015 for USTA National Summer Championships; Few Surprises on Day One of Junior Orange Bowl

The USTA board has approved changes to the 2015 USTA Clay Court and National 16s and 18s championships.  After a qualifying tournament was held in 2014 to determine eight spots in a 128-player draw, the tournaments will revert to the 192-player draws they had prior to 2014.  Alternate methods of gaining entry have also been reintroduced. The changes:

1. Eliminates Qualifier:  Replaces the 64-player qualifier and 128-player main draw at the Boys' and Girls' 18 and 16 USTA National Clay Court Championships and The USTA National Championships (Hard Courts) and with a main draw of 192 players.

2. Creates Direct Acceptance List:  Creates a Direct Acceptance List of top USTA, ATP/WTA and ITF* players to be published on May 1 that will automatically be selected for the Boys' and Girls' 18 and 16 USTA National Clay Court Championships and The USTA National Championships.  ATP/WTA and ITF players are only included on the Direct Acceptance List for the 18 Divisions.  Up to 32 players are selected off of this list for the 18 Divisions; up to 16 players are selected off of this list for the 16 Divisions.

I have seen reference elsewhere to the criteria for ATP/WTA/ITF entry as follows, although this could change: 

In the 18 Divisions, the Direct Acceptance List will be comprised of the top 16 players on the National Standings List, followed by players with top 800 ATP ranks/top 600 WTA ranks, followed by top 100 ITF players. Up to 32 players will be selected by this method. If fewer than 32 players on the List enter, the open spots are filled with endorsed players from the National Standings List published at the time of selection.
3. Net Increase in Draw Size to Section Quota: The net increase in draw size is allocated to Sectional Association quota using the same quota formula that currently exists (60% based on strength of Section/40% based on size of junior membership as of December 31, 2013).  

4. Sectional Ranking Tournament Winner Always Replaced with Quota Player:  If the winner of the designated Sectional Ranking Tournament (May/June Sectionals) does not enter The USTA National Championships (Hard Courts) or is not age eligible, one additional player from the Section's endorsement list will be selected.  This proposed change applies to all divisions (BG12-18).

With the elimination of the qualifying tournaments, the previously published 2015 dates for the Clays and Nationals will not be accurate, so look for revisions there in the upcoming months.


Today was the first day of the Junior Orange Bowl main draw and I spent most of the day at the Boys 12s in Salvadore Park.  The only division to play on Har-Tru, the boys 12s had their usual variation in size, strength and skill level.  Of the eight No. 1 seeds, seven won easily, and one, Ilya Tirapolsky of Canada, lost to Juan Zabala Vargas of Ecuador 7-5, 6-0.

Eddie Herr champion Jungwon Park of Korea, a No. 1 seed, breezed through his match, and Zane Khan, Eddie Herr finalist, beat Christopher Li of Peru 6-1, 6-1.  Li hit the ball hard and at time challened Khan, but made many more errors, particularly in extended rallies.  The other No. 1 seed from the US, Nicholas Garcia, also won, beating Matthew Melosch of Germany 6-1, 6-0.  The third US player seeded, Aidan Mayo, one of eight No. 9 seeds, defeated Mathias Musil of the Czech Republic 6-3, 6-3.  Unseeded Benjamin Kittay of the US defeated No. 9 seed Alexander Mandma of Estonia 2-6, 6-0, 7-5. 

The top eight seeds in the Girls 14s all advanced, with Orange Bowl 16s champion Bianca Andreescu of Canada, the No. 5 seed, among them. Andreescu was not entirely certain she would play after winning in Plantation last Saturday. Olesia Pervushina and Anastasia Potapova of Russia are the top two seeds.

All top eight seeds in the Boys 14s seeds also won their first matches in the 192-draw.  2012 12s champion Yshai Oliel of Israel and Sebastian Baez of Argentina are the top two seeds.  Keenan Mayo(3) and Roscoe Bellamy(7), the two US boys in the Top 8, lost only one game between them in their matches this afternoon.

In the girls 12s, played at Tropical Park this year, seven of the eight No. 1 seeds made the second round, with Luisa Meyer auf der Heide of Germany who retired with an injury in the first set of her match with Savannah Broadus of the US, the only one who didn't advance.

Complete results can be found at the TennisLink site.