Darwin Blanch, Clervie Ngounoue to compete at 2023 ITF World Tennis Tour Junior Finals
The line-up for the 2023 ITF World Tennis Tour Junior Finals was announced on Wednesday, and two Americans, Clervie Ngounoue and Darwin Blanch, will be among the 16 top juniors who will play at the year-end event in Chengdu, China.
This prestigious tournament is a large international platform for players 18-and-under, and is considered an important stepping stone in the ITF player development pathway. Some of the world’s top players have played this event, including Marketa Vondrousova, Elena Rybakina, Sofia Kenin, Jelena Ostapenko, Casper Ruud, Holger Rune, Andrey Rublev, Taylor Fritz, Leylah Fernandez, Lorenzo Musetti, Marta Kostyuk and Camila Osorio.
Ngounoue, the No. 2 junior in the world, was the 2023 junior girls’ singles champion at Wimbledon and girls' doubles champion at Roland Garros with fellow American Tyra Grant. In June, Ngounoue rose to world No. 1, and she also won two other ITF junior singles titles this year.
The USTA Girls’ 18s national champion received two US Open wild cards this year: She lost to Daria Saville in the first round of the women’s singles draw, in her Grand Slam singles main-draw debut, but reached the third round of the women’s doubles draw alongside partner Robin Montgomery.
Blanch, the younger brother of pro Ulises Blanch, is a promising young talent who trains at former world No. 1 Juan Carlos Ferrero's academy in Spain (which also produced Carlos Alcaraz). He was a semifinalist at the junior events at Roland Garros and Wimbledon earlier in the summer, and reached a career-high ranking of No. 8 in August. He's currently ranked No. 9.
For the first time, there is an alternate for both events. American Kaitlin Quevedo will be the girls’ alternate and will be on site at the Sichuan International Tennis Center from Oct. 16-22. In her international career, Quevedo has won seven junior ITF titles, reached three other finals in 2023, and made it to the third round of this year’s US Open Junior Championships.
This June, she reached a career-high junior ranking of No. 5, and currently sits at No. 10.
After arriving in Chengdu, the eight boys and eight girls will be drawn into two groups of four—in a similar format to the year-end ATP and WTA Finals for the pros. The top two from each group after three days of round-robin play will advance to the semifinals. The winners will receive 750 ranking points, a significant boost toward becoming the 2023 year-end junior No. 1. Players will also be competing for travel grants to support their pathway into professional tennis, up to a maximum of $18,500. All players, including alternates, will be assured a minimum of $3,000.
“Every year, the ITF World Tennis Tour Junior Finals mark an exhilarating finale to the junior season, offering a glimpse into the future stars of the sport. The ITF World Tennis Tour Juniors serves as a fundamental pathway, guiding talented young players to the pinnacle of the sport,” ITF President David Haggerty said. “With a storied history of past competitors who have ascended to greatness, this tournament remains a pivotal milestone in nurturing the world’s most promising tennis talent.”