Sponsored by IMG Academy

Monday, June 10, 2019

Musetti New ITF Junior No. 1; Kodat, Navarro and Damm Surge in Rankings; Ten Americans Compete in This Week's Grade 1 in Germany; Ma Signs with Georgia

When Chun-Hsin Tseng of Taiwan chose not to defend his French Open boys title, it was likely that a new ITF Junior No. 1 would emerge the following week. Even though top seed Lorenzo Musetti of Italy lost in the third round last week at Roland Garros, the Australian Open boys champion is now at the top, with French Open boys champion Holger Rune of Denmark No. 2 and Tseng now No. 3. Musetti may not stay No. 1 for long however, as he is not defending a Grade 1 title in Germany next week and is not entered in the Wimbledon Junior Championships. Tseng, the defending boys champion at Wimbledon, is not defending that title either, with his focus now on the ITF World Tennis Tour.

Roland Garros was a great boost for the top US boys born in 2003, with Martin Damm's semifinal showing moving him up five spots to No. 6, and Toby Kodat's appearance in the final taking his ranking up 24 spots to No. 9. With Brandon Nakashima at No. 7 and Emilio Nava at No. 10, the United States now has four boys in the Top 10. The US has a total of 16 boys in the ITF Top 100.

Australian Open champion Clara Tauson of Denmark, who withdrew from the French Open at the last minute, remains No. 1 in the ITF girls rankings, and with no points to defend in until late July, she is likely to stay there, especially with Roland Garros champion Leylah Fernandez of Canada, now up to No. 3, not playing Wimbledon. Tauson, who is entered at Wimbledon, leads No. 2 Clara Burel of France by just 200 points, but Burel has been out injured and is not expected to compete on the Junior Circuit when she returns.

Emma Navarro jumped from 16 to 4 with her singles final and doubles championship in Paris, and she is entered at Wimbledon. 2018 French Open champion Coco Gauff is the only other American girl in the Top 10, at No. 7.  She, along with the other top US 18-and-under players Caty McNally and Whitney Osuigwe (and of course Amanda Anisimova), are not playing Wimbledon Juniors.  Fifteen US girls are in the ITF Junior Top 100 as of today.

This week's Grade 1 on clay in Germany has not drawn a strong field, with many players taking a week off after a long lead-up to the French Open and preparing to turn their attention to grass, which now has a season of three weeks with the introduction of a Grade 1 in Nottingham in two weeks. Neither of the No. 16 seeds in the tournament is in the ITF Top 100, and Harold Mayot of France, the boys top seed, has the best ranking in the field, at 34.

Two US boys and eight US girls begin first round play Tuesday in Offenbach: Dali Blanch[7], Blaise Bicknell[14], Hina Inoue[15], Alyssa Richter[Q], Lara Schneider, Alexandra Yepifanova[9], Madison Sieg, Tara Malik[16], Emma Jackson[8] and Katherine Teng.

The University of Georgia today announced the signing of Lea Ma, a blue chip who is ranked No. 3 in Tennis Recruiting Network's class of 2019.  Ma, who has been ranked as high as 19 in the ITF junior rankings and is currently at 28, will join the Bulldogs this fall. Ma defeated ITF No. 1 Clara Tauson last year at Wimbledon; I spoke with Ma about that win at the time.