Six American players, including Top 10 junior standouts Stefan Kozlov and Michael Mmoh, will head to Melbourne later this month for the 2014 Australian Open Junior Championships.
By Nicholas J. Walz, USTA.com
Stefan Kozlov and Michael Mmoh – a pair of 15-year-olds ranked among the Top 10 juniors in the world – will headline the Americans playing in the Australian Open Junior Championships, beginning Saturday, Jan. 18, in Melbourne.
While many American teens will begin the year playing clay events on the USTA Pro Circuit, No. 5 Kozlov, out of Pembroke Pines, Fla., and No. 9 Mmoh, from Temple Hills, Md., will attempt to follow Andy Roddick (2000) and Donald Young (2005) as Australian Open boys’ singles champions. They are the only two American boys entered into the main draw in Melbourne.
Seventeen-year-old Katrine Steffensen out of Scarsdale, N.Y., leads the Americans in the girls’ singles main draw. Fourteen-year-old Californians Michaela Gordon of Los Altos Hills and CiCi Bellis of Atherton, along with 15-year-old Usue Arconada of College Park, Md., were also accepted.
Taylor Townsend (2012) and Kim Kessaris (1989) are the only Americans to win the Australian Open girls’ singles title, while Lindsay Davenport (1992) was a finalist.
Six girls are entered into qualifying, the oldest being 17-year-old Mira Ruder-Hook of Denver. Sixteen-year-olds Olivia Hauger of Tulsa, Okla., Chloe Michele Ouellet-Pizer of Chapel Hill, N.C., Meghan Kelley of Falmouth, Maine, and Ally Miller-Krasilnikov of Boca Raton, Fla., will also be making the trip Down Under, as will 15-year-old Raquel Pedraza of Claremont, Calif.
Sixteen-year-old Taylor Fritz of Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., and 15-year-old Ulises Blanch of Pompano Beach, Fla., are entered into boys’ qualifying.
The full player fields can be found here
. For more on junior tennis, and to find a kids' tennis program and facility near you, go to YouthTennis.com