Standout juniors participate in
Hawaii Fed Cup Camp
Sally Milano | February 5, 2016
While the U.S. Fed Cup team prepares for its first-round tie against Poland at the Holua Tennis Center in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, this weekend, four of the top junior girls' players in the country are in Hawaii, as well, to train and learn alongside some of the U.S.’s top pros at a USTA Player Development Fed Cup Camp.
Seventeen-year-old Usue Arconada of College Park, Md.; 16-year-old Kayla Day of Santa Barbara, Calif.; 17-year-old Caroline Dolehide of Hinsdale, Ill.; and 15-year-old Claire Liu of Thousand Oaks, Calif., are participating in the camp, an opportunity traditionally held in conjunction with Fed Cup ties held in the U.S.
The camp gives these rising stars the chance to train with each other, as well as to practice and interact with the U.S. Fed Cup team of Captain Mary Joe Fernandez, Venus Williams, Sloane Stephens, CoCo Vandeweghe and Bethanie Mattek-Sands. ADVERTISEMENT USTA National Coach Kathy Rinaldi and guest coach Marianne Werdel are running the camp.
Liu began 2016 ranked in the Top 25 of the world junior rankings (No. 23). Last March, at 14 years, 9 months and 25 days old, she became the youngest female player to win a USTA Pro Circuit tournament since Anna Kournikova in 1996, when she won the $10,000 event in Orlando. As a junior player last year, Liu advanced to the third round of junior Wimbledon and won the prestigious Easter Bowl. In addition, she helped the U.S. to a runner-up finish to the Czech Republic at the 16-and-under Junior Fed Cup final in Barcelona in September 2015, going 4-1 in singles matches.
Arconada, currently No. 8 in the world junior rankings, won her first pro-level match at 14 years old, in qualifying for the WTA’s Citi Open in Washington, D.C., beating then 26-year-old Maria Irigoyen. She reached the third round in singles at the 2015 junior US Open, as well as the doubles quarterfinals. She has also competed in the junior French Open and Wimbledon and reached the doubles semifinals at the French Open in 2015 and Wimbledon in 2014. Arconada was born in Argentina, and her family moved to Puerto Rico when her father accepted a position as Puerto Rico’s national volleyball coach.
Day (pictured above) is the No. 10-ranked junior in the world. Like Liu, she also helped the U.S. to a runner-up finish at the 16-and-under Junior Fed Cup final in Barcelona in late September, winning all four of her singles matches. She won two prestigious ITF junior events last year, in Mexico and Tulsa, Okla., reached the girls’ 18s Orange Bowl final in 2015 and has competed in the junior US Open and Wimbledon. Day was the 2013 USTA Girls’ 14s national champion and the 2014 USTA Girls’ 16s national runner-up.
Dolehide, who ascended to No. 16 in the world junior rankings last July, reached the girls’ singles third round at Wimbledon and the girls’ doubles final at Roland Garros in 2015. She also advanced to the junior singles semifinals at the 2014 US Open despite being ranked well outside the Top 500 of the world junior rankings at the time. Dolehide’s older sister, Courtney, played collegiate tennis at UCLA and is now an assistant coach at the University of Texas. Her cousin, Tom Gorzelanny, is an 11-year veteran MLB pitcher, now with the Cleveland Indians organization.