Preview: 2022 ITF World Junior Tennis Championships
The clay-court 2022 ITF World Junior Tennis Finals begin today in Prostejov, Czech Republic. The United States’ teams, the third-seeded boys and second-seeded girls, will play against other players aged 14-and-under from 25 other nations for a world championship title.
The American girls’ roster is comprised of Capucine Jauffret, Shannon Lam and Julieta Pareja, with Kathy Rinaldi serving as captain. Captain Jose Cabellero will lead the boys: Carel Ngounoue, Keaton Hance and Jack Kennedy.
The United States’ boys earned back-to-back titles in 2018 and 2019, while the girls last won in 2017.
“I am super excited to go back to Prostejov, see all the young talent out there and be with our young American girls,” Rinaldi, who led the United States girls' team to victory in both 2009 and 2010, told the ITF in a recent interview.
“At this age, it is more of a learning experience for the girls and there will be a lot of teachable moments. This could be a player’s first trip overseas or their first without their parents or private coaches, so there is a big responsibility there. In short, I want them to come back as better tennis players, better competitors and, most importantly, better young ladies.”
Competition involves a round robin format. Each group contains four teams, with two winners from each group advancing to the quarterfinals. The remaining teams will then play one another to avoid elimination. Tournament finals take place on Saturday, Aug. 6.
The U.S. girls will start against seventh-seeded Great Britain, Latvia and Serbia in Group D, while the boys will face seventh-seeded Japan, Slovenia and the Czech Republic in Group C.
Since its inaugural event in 1991, the ITF World Junior Tennis Championships has seen sports superstars like Rafael Nadal, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Justine Henin and Kim Clijsters compete. In recent years, some of America’s biggest current professional players – including Coco Gauff, Madison Keys, Sloane Stephens and Frances Tiafoe – represented their country at the tournament.