Riffice, Kypson headline field at
USTA Boys' Nationals
Sally Milano | August 4, 2017
The list of players who have competed at the USTA National Championships reads like a “Who’s Who” from the tennis history books.
From past champions like Rod Laver, Stan Smith, Michael Chang, Donald Young and Jack Sock, to other stars of the game who competed in the tournament when they were juniors, including Pete Sampras, Jimmy Connors, Tony Trabert, Andre Agassi, Jim Courier, Andy Roddick and Sam Querrey, the USTA National Championships has showcased the best 18-and-under male tennis players in the country since the tournament was founded in 1943.
Now celebrating its 75th anniversary, this year’s USTA Boys' 18 and 16 National Championships kick off Friday, Aug. 4, in Kalamazoo, Mich., and conclude Sunday, Aug. 13, with the winners of the boys’ 18s singles and doubles titles earning wild cards to compete in the 2017 US Open. ADVERTISEMENT
Sam Riffice leads this year’s field as the top seed in the Boys' 18s division. The 18-year-old from Orlando, Fla., reached the singles final at the Nike Junior International Roehampton earlier this month, advanced to the doubles semifinals at the French Open in June and reached the singles semifinals and doubles final at the Easter Bowl in April. He was a Boys' 18s quarterfinalist at Kalamazoo in 2016.
No. 2 seed Patrick Kypson (pictured above) of Greenville, N.C., reached a career-high ranking of No. 18 in the ITF World Junior Rankings last month after advancing to the semifinals at junior Wimbledon. Kypson, who won the doubles title and reached the singles final at the Easter Bowl earlier this year, has had previous success in Kalamazoo, winning the Boys’ 16s singles title in 2015.
No. 3 seed Trent Bryde of Suwanee, Ga., and No. 4 Oliver Crawford of Spartanburg, S.C., will also be in action. Bryde, who reached the 18s singles semifinals in Kalamazoo last year, moved up to a career-high world junior ranking of No. 8 in April after reaching the Australian Open doubles quarterfinals, sweeping the singles and doubles titles at the ITF Grade A event in Porto Alegre, Brazil, and reaching the singles quarterfinals and doubles semifinals at the Easter Bowl. Crawford, a doubles semifinalist the last two years in Kalamazoo, won the Easter Bowl doubles title (with Kypson) and reached the singles round of 16 at both the French Open and Wimbledon this year.
Other junior players competing in the Boys’ 18s include: No. 5 seed JJ Wolf and No. 6 John McNally, both from Cincinnati and last year's Boys' 18s doubles champions; No. 7 Sebastien Korda of Bradenton, Fla.; No. 8 Danny Thomas of Reynoldsburg, Ohio; No. 9 seed Gianni Ross of Orlando, Fla.; and No. 10 Vasil Kirkov of Tampa, Fla., who finished runner-up to Michael Mmoh in the 2016 Boys' 18s final.
Brandon Nakashima of San Diego, the No. 1-ranked Boys' 16s player in the country, is the top seed in the Boys' 16s and will be joined in the draw by No. 2 Andrew Dale of Leesburg, Va.; No. 3 Siem Woldeab of La Mesa, Calif.; No. 4 Will Grant of Boca Raton, Fla.; No. 5 Jacob Bullard of Calabasas, Calif.; No. 6 Leighton Allen of Austin, Texas; No. 7 Alex Lee of Oak Brook, Ill.; and No. 8 Stefan Dostanic of Irvine, Calif.
The Boys’ 16s winner earns a wild card into the 2017 US Open Junior Championships.
Recent International Tennis Hall of Fame inductee Roddick, who won the Boys' 18s doubles championship (with LeVar Harper-Griffith) in 1999, will return to Kalamazoo to play an exhibition match on Saturday, Aug. 5.
Follow all the action from the boys’ 18s and boys’ 16s divisions, and for complete information from the tournament, click here.