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Wednesday, July 25, 2018

ITF No. 1 Juniors Tseng and Gauff Lead US Open Junior Acceptances; European 16s Champions Crowned, Top Seeds Advance in 18s; Thiel and Schmidhauser Win New Balance High School Championships

The acceptance lists for the US Open Junior Championships were posted today, with eight US girls and six US boys receiving direct entry into the year's final junior slam, which begins on September 2nd.

French Open champion Coco Gauff, the ITF's top-ranked junior girl, is joined by Americans Alexa Noel, Caty McNally, Lea Ma, Katie Volynets, Dalayna Hewitt, Gabby Price and Natasha Subhash. US girls currently in qualifying are Elli Mandlik, Peyton Stearns, Hurricane Tyra Black, Kacie Harvey, Chloe Beck and Hailey Baptiste. 

The US boys entered are Tristan Boyer, Brandon Nakashima, Drew Baird, Cannon Kingsley, Trey Hilderbrand and Andrew Fenty.  Boys currently in qualifying are Tyler Zink, Eduardo Nava and Govind Nanda. Australian Open boys champion Sebastian Korda, who told me at Wimbledon he would probably play the US Open Junior tournament to close out his junior career, did not enter, but could request a wild card.

Speaking of that, junior performance-based wild cards will be given to Jenson Brooksby, the ITF Easter Bowl champion, and Sunday's USTA 18s Clay Court champions: Neel Rajesh and Emma Navarro. The 2018 USTA junior wild card designations are available here. Note the specific US Open junior wild cards for the 3rd, 4th and 5th places finishers at the upcoming 18s Nationals.

ITF boys No. 1 Chun Hsin Tseng of Taiwan has entered, and will be going for his fourth straight junior slam final and third straight title. Wimbledon finalist Jack Draper is not entered, while two boys, Thiago Seyboth Wild of Brazil and Antoine Cornut Chauvinc of France, received main draw entry due to ATP rankings within the Top 750. 

Wimbledon girls champion Iga Swiatek of Poland said she would not be playing the US Open after her title in London and did not enter. Whitney Osuigwe said after Wimbledon that she was done with juniors and did not enter. Leonie Kung of Switzerland said she was unlikely to play due to a Pro Circuit event in Switzerland that week, but she did enter.  Moyuka Uchijima of Japan received main draw entry based on her WTA ranking inside the Top 400.

The 16s European Championships, one of the biggest junior tournaments of the year, was held last week in Moscow, with Spain's Carlos Alcaraz and Latvia's Kamilla Bartone claiming the singles titles. The girls final was an all-Latvia contest, with No. 6 seed Bartone defeating unseeded Patricija Spaka 6-1, 6-3 in the final.  The fifth-seeded Alcaraz, who before his 15th birthday in May had already earned ATP points, defeated unseeded Elmer Moller of Denmark 6-4, 6-3 in the boys singles final.  For more on the tournament, see this article from Tennis Europe.

This week's big tournament in Europe is the ITF Grade B1 European Championships, held annually in Klosters Switzerland. Top seeds Clara Tauson of Denmark and Adrian Andreev of Bulgaria have advanced to Thursday's round of 16, but several other seeds have already been eliminated, including boys No. 2 seed Filip Jianu of Romania, No. 3 seed Dalibor Svrcina of the Czech Republic, girls No. 4 seed Margaryta Bilokin of Ukraine and No. 6 seed Salma Cadar of Romania.  Andreev and No. 8 seed Daniel Michalski of Poland are the only top 8 seeds remaining in the boys fourth round.  No. 8 seed Kung, the Wimbledon girls finalist, is one of three Swiss girls in the final 16.

The New Balance National High School Championships finished on Tuesday at the Weil Academy in Ojai California, with Max Schmidhauser and Makenna Thiel claiming the titles. Schmidhauser, the No. 2 seed, defeated No. 3 seed Bobby Neuner 6-3, 6-4 in the boys final.  Thiel, also the No. 2 seed, defeated top seed Alexis Merrill 7-6(6), 6-2 in the girls final.

For complete results, see the TennisLink site.