Preview: Junior Davis, Fed Cup at
USTA National Campus
Arthur Kapetanakis | September 23, 2019
Tuesday will mark the return of the Junior Davis Cup and Junior Fed Cup by BNP Paribas to American soil for the first time since 1994, as the 2019 competitions get underway at the USTA National Campus. A total of 32 teams—16 boys' and 16 girls’ outfits—will play for their countries in Orlando, Fla.
A round-robin stage will determine the quarterfinalists in each event, with the knockout rounds beginning on Friday and champions crowned on Sunday.
The U.S. girls enter as two-time defending champions, after Coco Gauff led the team to victory last year in Budapest, Hungary. Connie Ma, 16, returns from that title-winning team and will be joined by Easter Bowl finalist Robin Montgomery and US Open girls’ singles quarterfinalist Katrina Scott, both 15. Scott also notched a first-round women's qualifying win as a wild card at the US Open.ADVERTISEMENT
Ma, currently No. 1 in the USTA Girls’ 18s National Rankings, swept the singles and doubles titles at the USTA Girls’ 18s Winter National Championships at the National Campus earlier this year. The team will be captained by USTA National Coach Jamea Jackson.
The boys, seeking their first title since 2014, will be led by the high-profile tandem of Martin Damm and Toby Kodat, both Top-10 ITF juniors. Winners of the USTA Boys’ 18s National Championships in Kalamazoo, Mich., the junior Davis Cup veteran pair recently made history by becoming the youngest men’s doubles team to win a US Open match in the Open era.
"Their being on the biggest stage and having played in front of the biggest crowd and doing the media representation, I think all of those things are a big advantage," said boys' captain and USTA National Coach Philippe Oudshoorn, who has challenged his team to be "the grittiest and the most persistent team out there."
Damm (pictured above, left), 15, and Kodat (above, right), 16, will be joined by 16-year-old Orlando resident Dali Blanch. The 2018 Orange Bowl boys’ 16s singles finalist is the younger brother of American pro Ulises Blanch. He qualified for the junior French Open this year and scored a 6-1, 6-0 victory in his junior Slam main-draw debut. Both of his teammates are from Bradenton, Fla., giving the trio a strong home-state advantage.
"For us, it's a major advantage [to be playing in Florida]," said Oudshoorn. "It's a beautiful campus, and we're very excited for the support that we're going to have from the Orlando community and the USTA here."
Tennis Channel will air more than 20 hours of live national linear coverage of the event, with daily coverage beginning at 11 a.m. ET on Tuesday, featuring play-by-play announcer Russ Thaler and analyst Jimmy Arias.
The U.S. has won five Junior Fed Cup titles (2008, 2012, 2014, 2017, 2018) and three Junior Davis Cup titles (1999, 2008, 2014). Former U.S. junior international team members include Jim Courier, Andy Roddick, James Blake, Lindsay Davenport and Sloane Stephens. Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic have also represented their respective countries in the junior international team competition.
For more information, visit the ITF website.