Blanch, Kenin lead U.S. at junior French Open
Tennis' biggest stars have been in Paris competing at the French Open for the last week. Now the world's top juniors are set to join them, led by a strong contingent of American junior players.
Ulises Blanch, the No. 3-ranked junior in the world, and 2015 USTA Girls’ 18s national champion and US Open girls’ finalist Sofia Kenin are headlining a deep field of American boys and girls set to compete at Roland Garros. Qualifying begins Thursday, with the main draw running May 29-June 4.
With 12 girls and nine boys entered into the main draw or qualifying, the U.S. has the most players entered into the Roland Garros junior draw via direct acceptance – by a wide margin. China and Japan have the second highest number of players competing, with eight each. Additionally, two of the top three girls’ seeds are American: No. 2 Amanda Anisimova and No. 3 Kayla Day.
American juniors will look to continue their recent success at the French Open. Last year, three of the boys’ singles semifinalists were American, with Tommy Paul beating Taylor Fritz in the first all-American French Open boys’ singles final dating back to 1947. Also, CiCi Bellis reached the girls’ semifinals in 2015, while Paul, William Blumberg, Caroline Dolehide and Katerina Stewart were all doubles finalists.
USTA Player Development national coaches Leo Azevedo, Sylvain Guichard, Jamea Jackson, Henner Nehles and Adam Peterson will be providing support to all American players participating in the French Open Junior Championships. Players competing in the main draw will receive a $1,250 grant from USTA Player Development, and their full-time, personal coaches who are making the trip to Paris will also receive a $1,250 grant.
The complete list of U.S. junior competing at Roland Garros is as follows:
Girls' Main Draw
Amanda Anisimova (14, Hallandale Beach, Fla.; Coaches: Konstantin and Olga Anisimova, Nick Saviano)
Kayla Day (16, Santa Barbara, Calif.; Coaches: Henner Nehles, Mike Gennette)
Usue Arconada (17, College Park, Md.; Coach: Frank Salazar)
Sofia Kenin (17, Pembroke Pines, Fla.; Coach: Alex Kenin and Stephen Huss)
Alexandra Sanford (17, Westerville, Ohio; Coach: Henner Nehles)
Maria Mateas (16; Braintree, Mass.; Coach: Calin Mateas)
Michaela Gordon (16, Los Altos Hills, Calif.; Coach: Alex Poorta)
Morgan Coppoc (17, Tulsa, Okla.; Coach: Trent Tucker)
Caty McNally (14, Cincinnati; Coach: Lynn Nabors-McNally)
#Claire Liu (16, Thousand Oaks, Calif.; Coach: Adam Peterson, Mike Gennette)
Ellie Douglas (15, McKinney, Texas; Coach: Luis Herrera)
Natasha Subhash (14, Fairfax, Va.; Coach: Bear Schofield)
Boys' Main Draw
Ulises Blanch (18, Pompano Beach, Fla; Coaches: Daniel Garcia, Rodrigo Alvarez, Claudio Menna)
John McNally (17, Cincinnati; Coach: Lynn Nabors-McNally)
J.J. Wolf (17, Cincinnati; Coach: David Kass)
Nathan Ponwith (18, Scottsdale, Ariz.; Coach: Lou Belken)
Sam Riffice (17, Roseville, Calif.; Coach: Lori Riffice)
Vasil Kirkov (17, Tampa, Fla.; Coaches: Leo Azevedo, Stoyan Kirkov)
*Brandon Holt (18, Rolling Hills, Calif.; Coach: Peter Lucassen)
Oliver Crawford (17, Spartanburg, S.C.; Coaches: Anthony Stewart, Kelly Jones)
Gianni Ross (17, Chicago; Coaches: Jack Sharpe, Robbye Poole)
# Received a special exemption main-draw entry with her results at this week’s Astrid Bowl junior tournament in Belgium.
* Received a main-draw wild card through a reciprocal agreement with the French Tennis Federation.