Junior Tournaments

U.S. junior teams qualify for World Finals

April 30, 2012 04:19 PM
Stefan Kozlov went undefeated as the No. 1 player on the U.S. Junior Davis Cup team.
The U.S. Junior Fed Cup and U.S. Junior Davis Cup (16-and-under) teams and both the boys’ and girls’ World Junior Tennis teams (14-and-under) won the North/Central America & Caribbean Regional Championships this weekend to qualify for the 2012 World Finals. The Regional Championships were held in Merida, Mexico. All four teams went an undefeated 3-0 en route to winning their regional titles.
 
The World Junior Tennis Finals will be held Aug. 13-18 in Prostejov, Czech Republic. The Junior Davis Cup and Junior Fed Cup World Finals will be held Sept. 25-30 in Barcelona, Spain.
 
Each Regional Championship featured a four-team round-robin competition, with the top two teams advancing to the 16-nation World Finals. 
 
2012 North/Central America & Caribbean Regional Championships
Final Standings
 
Junior Davis Cup
1. United States*                  3-0
2. Mexico*                           ​ 2-1
3. Canada                            1-2
4. Dominican Republic         0-3
 
Junior Fed Cup
1. United States*                  3-0
2. Mexico*                            2-1
3. Canada                            1-2
4. Cuba                              &nbs​p; 0-3
 
World Junior Tennis - Boys
1. United States*                  3-0
2. Mexico*                            2-1
3. Canada                            1-2
4. Costa Rica                       0-3
 
World Junior Tennis - Girls
1. United States*                  3-0                          &​nbsp;          
2. Canada*                           2-1                                 &nbs​p;   
3. Mexico                             1-2
4. Puerto Rico                      0-3
 
*Qualified for the 2012 World Final
 
The U.S. Junior Fed Cup team, coached by USTA Lead National Coach Kathy Rinaldi, won all nine singles and doubles matches on the weekend, dropping just one set in total. The U.S. team, which featured all three members of the 2011 Junior Fed Cup team that likewise captured the North/Central American and Caribbean Championships but did not compete in the World Final, was led by reigning Australian Open girls’ singles champion Taylor Townsend (Stockbridge, Ga.), currently the top-ranked player in the ITF World Junior Standings, who posted a 3-0 record at No. 1 singles and a 3-0 record in doubles with partner Gabrielle Andrews (Pomona, Calif.), with whom Townsend captured the 2012 Australian Open doubles title. Brooke Austin (Indianapolis), the reigning USTA Girls’ 18s Spring National Champion, went 3-0 at No. 2 singles.
 
The U.S. Junior Davis Cup team, coached by USTA National Coach Nicolas Todero, went 3-0 over the three days and dropped just two sets in nine matches. Stefan Kozlov (Pembroke Pines, Fla.), a finalist at the 2012 USTA International Spring Championships, went 2-0 at No. 1 singles, and Jared Donaldson (Cumberland, R.I.) compiled a 6-0 record in singles and doubles, including a 2-0 mark at No. 2 singles. Ernesto Escobedo (West Covina, Calif.) won three doubles matches with Donaldson and also recorded a singles victory in the No. 2 position.     
 
Both the U.S. World Junior boys’ and girls’ teams advanced to the World Finals by sweeping their regions, as well, with each team losing just one of nine matches. The boys’ team, coached by USTA Lead National Coach Ricardo Acuna, was led by 2012 AEGON Teen Tennis and Les Petits As champion Francis Tiafoe (College Park, Md.), 2012 AEGON Teen Tennis runner-up Michael Mmoh (Temple Hills, Md.) and 2012 Les Petits As finalist William Blumberg (Greenwich, Conn.). Mmoh went 2-1 at No. 1 singles and 2-0 in doubles, while Tiafoe went 2-0 at No. 2 singles and 1-0 in doubles. Blumberg won all three doubles matches as well as his lone singles match in the No. 2 position. 
 
In the World Junior Tennis girls’ event, the U.S. team, coached by USTA National Coach Sylvain Guichard, was led by Nicole Frenkel (Winchester, Mass.), a 2011 AEGON Teen Tennis quarterfinalist, who posted a 3-1 overall record (2-0 at No. 1 singles). Racquel Pedraza (Claremont, Calif.), the finalist at the 2011 USTA Girls’ 14s Winter National Championships, also went 3-1 (3-0 in singles), and Jada Hart (Colton, Calif.), went 2-0 in doubles and 1-0 at No. 2 singles.
 
The International Tennis Federation administers team competitions to give young tennis players the opportunity to experience international competition and the unique atmosphere of playing in a team for their country.
 
In 2008, the U.S. became the first country to sweep all four titles in the same year. The U.S. World Junior girls’ team won four consecutive titles from 2007-10 and will be seeking its sixth overall (1992). In addition to 2008, the U.S. World Junior boys’ team won back-to-back titles in 2002-03, and the Junior Davis Cup team won the title in 1999. The 2008 title was the first for the Junior Fed Cup team. 
 
Former U.S. junior international team members include James Blake, Jennifer Capriati, Michael Chang, Jim Courier, Lindsay Davenport, Mardy Fish, Robby Ginepri, Denis Kudla, Christina McHale, Lisa Raymond, Andy Roddick and Sloane Stephens.
 

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