2019 Year in Review:
10 American juniors in ITF Top 25
Arthur Kapetanakis | November 27, 2019
As 2019 draws to a close, USTA.com is taking a look back at the top storylines, headlines and highlights from the year in American tennis. Here, we recount a banner year for American junior tennis.
With the 2019 Orange Bowl still to come, the top American juniors have already hit impressive heights this season. Entering December, a combined 10 American boys and girls rank in the Top 25 of the ITF Junior Rankings.
The dominance of the U.S. juniors was on full display at the Junior Davis and Fed Cup, which was hosted for the first time at the USTA National Campus in September. Both American teams reached the finals on their home turf, with the girls’ outfit securing a three-peat as Junior Fed Cup champions.
Damm, who is currently the top-ranked American boy at No. 5, also found success at Wimbledon and the French Open, where he reached the semifinals. He also teamed with lifelong friend Kodat, the junior No. 9, to reach the Wimbledon semis. The pair later made history at the senior level, when they became the youngest men's doubles team to win a US Open match in the Open era. Kodat's singles season, meanwhile, included a run to the Roland Garros final.
Also in the Top 10 is world No. 6 Emilio Nava, who was a finalist at both the Australian Open and the US Open, and also finished runner-up in the Aussie Open doubles event, with compatriot and world No. 19 Cannon Kinglsey, an Ohio State freshman. Kingsley had quite the year himself, highlighted by a US Open semifinal run and a quarterfinal appearance in Melbourne.
Brandon Nakashima, who peaked at No. 3 at the end of 2018, played a limited junior schedule in 2019 that included a run to the US Open junior semis. The UVA sophomore also did some damage on the ITF senior circuit, reaching consecutive semifinals in ATP Challenger events in Fairfield, Calif., and Charlottesville, Va.
On the girls’ side, Emma Navarro is the high American at No. 4, after she followed up her Easter Bowl title with a final run at Roland Garros and a semifinal appearance at Wimbledon. She had more success in doubles, winning the French Open and reaching the Aussie Open final with Chloe Beck. Navarro also made her WTA debut this year at the Volvo Car Open in her hometown of Charleston, S.C.
Junior world No. 5 Alexa Noel was a finalist at Wimbledon and went all the way at the ITF Grade A event in Milan for her biggest trophy of the season. Hurricane Tyra Black (No. 15), Abigail Forbes (No. 19), Alexandra Yepifanova (No. 20) and Montgomery (No. 23) round out the six American girls inside the Top 25. Forbes won the Wimbledon doubles title with world No. 42 Savannah Broadus, in addition to a pair of Grade 1 singles titles in South America, while Yepifanova reached the US Open singles final and Black won the girls' 18s singles title at the International Spring Championships.
The 2019 junior calendar wraps up with the prestigious Orange Bowl, with the 18s main draw set to run from Dec. 9-15 at the Frank Veltri Center in Plantation, Fla.