Thursday, July 9, 2020

ITF Junior Fed Cup, Junior Davis Cup and 14U World Tennis Competition Canceled; WTA Adds August Event in Kentucky; Paul Takes Tiafoe's Spot in World Team Tennis; Looking Back at 2019 Wimbledon Juniors

The official announcement has yet to be made, but I've learned that the ITF 14U World Junior Tennis competition and the 16U Junior Davis Cup and Junior Fed Cup have been canceled for 2020.

This comes as no surprise, with the spring and summer regional qualifying events unable to take place due to the pandemic, and the USTA bowed out of hosting September's Junior Davis Cup and Junior Fed Cup way back in April. (It will return to the National Campus, pandemic permitting, in September of 2021). There was some thought that perhaps those two events could be held in Europe, after the French Open this fall, but again, without conducting the qualifying, selection of participants would be impossible. The World Junior Tennis competition, which is held in the Czech Republic every August, was unlikely to be held once the ITF junior hiatus extended past April.

I have not heard if the French Open will hold its junior event this year; it is currently not showing on the ITF Junior Circuit calendar for October.

The WTA will not be joining the ATP at Washington DC Citi Open, but a new 125 event has been added for women at the Top Seed Tennis Club in Nicholasville Kentucky. Alex Gruskin of Cracked Racquets, who did commentary at last weekend's women's pro exhibition at Top Seed, tweeted that the draw will be "32 main draw singles, 24 qualifying, 16 doubles. Player hotel will be completely rented out to tournament personnel. All on site players/staff will be tested." Although there were spectators at the exhibition last weekend, there will be none at this official WTA tournament. Gruskin's interview with Top Seed's Jon Sanders covering this upcoming event, can be found here. The "provisional" WTA calendar for the rest of 2020 can be found here.

The WTA also announced its ranking system adjustments, which are similar to those announced recently by the ATP.

Because Frances Tiafoe has tested positive for Covid-19, he is ineligible to participate in the upcoming World Team Tennis season, which begins Sunday at The Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia. Tiafoe, who was playing for the Washington Kastles, will be replaced by Tommy Paul.

For the team rosters, several of which have changed from the initial announcement, click here.

The ITF has not been posting much in the way of news on the junior website, but today an article on last year's Wimbledon Junior Championships appeared, with thoughts on their titles from Shintaro Mochizuki of Japan and Daria Snigur of Ukraine. Snigur, who is currently 215 in the WTA rankings, has found immediate success on the ITF World Tennis Tour, while Mochizuki, who has another year left of junior tennis in 2021, has found the going tougher; his ATP ranking is 732. It's interesting that Snigur said she hates slice, given her two finals wins on grass over Alexa Noel at Roehampton and Wimbledon. She also says Noel gave her trouble because Noel is left-hander, which is not true.

Last year's French Open boys champion Holger Rune of Denmark has been blogging for the ITF website, and in Tuesday's post he talks about his return to competition this month at invitational events in his home country and in Sweden. He says he won three of the four tournaments and is understandably excited about competition returning next month.