Former world No. 1 junior Taylor Townsend and Stefan Kozlov, the youngest player in the Top 20 of the world junior rankings, lead the Americans accepted to play in the US Open Junior Championships starting Sunday, Sept. 1 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, N.Y.
The 17-year-old Townsend, currently No. 5 in the world junior rankings, will play in her third junior Grand Slam in 2013 after reaching the final at Wimbledon and the quarterfinals at the French Open. She made history in 2012 by finishing the year as the world’s top-ranked junior – the first American girl to hold that distinction in 30 years – before turning pro this year.
Kozlov, the only 15-year-old in the Top 20 of the world junior rankings at No. 15, leads the American boys in the main draw after reaching the junior quarterfinals at Wimbledon. Kozlov, who trains out of the USTA Training Center – Headquarters in Boca Raton, Fla., played his first ATP-level main draw match in July in Newport, R.I., pushing then-No. 113 Michal Przysiezny to three sets, nearly winning in a second-set tiebreak.
New York-area players competing in the US Open Junior Championships main draws include, on the girls’ side, 17-year-old Louisa Chirico of Harrison, N.Y. (No. 10 in the world junior rankings), the 2013 Wimbledon and French Open junior semifinalist who trains at the home of the US Open at the USTA Training Center – East. Also competing will be 18-year-old Ossining, N.Y., native Jamie Loeb (No. 32). On the boys’ side, 17-year-old Noah Rubin of Rockville Centre, N.Y. (No. 26) will return for his second US Open junior main draw appearance.
Also accepted to the girls’ main draw are 17-year-old Christina Makarova (No. 21) and 18-year-old Sachia Vickery (No. 18). Accepted for junior qualifying, which begins on Friday, Aug. 30, are 17-year-old Johnnise Renaud (No. 48), 17-year-old Katrine Isabel Steffensen (No. 67), 15-year-old Alicia Black (No. 76) and 17-year-old Brooke Austin.
They are all competing to become the third straight American US Open girls’ singles champion, following in the footsteps of Samantha Crawford (2012) and Grace Min (2011). American CoCo Vandeweghe also won the US Open girls’ singles title in 2008.
Americans accepted into the boys’ main draw are 18-year-old Thai-Son Kwiatkowski (No. 29), 18-year-old Luca Corinteli (No. 44) and 17-year-old Martin Redlicki (No. 50). Accepted for qualifying are 17-year-old Spencer Papa (No. 59) and 15-year-old Michael Mmoh (No. 82).
Overall, the girls’ field features 19 of the Top 20 juniors in the world, including top-ranked Belinda Bencic, of Switzerland, who won both junior singles titles at Wimbledon and the French Open. The boys’ field features 16 of the Top 20 juniors in the world, including 2013 Wimbledon junior champion Gianluigi Quinzi, of Italy, and French Open junior champion Christian Garin, of Chile.
Previous US Open girls’ champions include Victoria Azarenka (2005), Marion Bartoli (2001), Lindsay Davenport (1992), Jennifer Capriati (1989) and Zina Garrison (1981).
Past US Open boys’ champions include Jack Sock (2010), Andy Murray (2004), Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (2003), Andy Roddick (2000), Stefan Edberg (1983) and Pat Cash (1982).