U.S. juniors to compete in top European tournaments
America's top juniors are set to take Europe by storm.
Eight of the country's top young players have been selected to compete at two of the world's premier 14-and-under tournaments – Nike Junior International Teen Tennis, which will take place Jan. 18-24 in Bolton, England, and Les Petits As, which will be held Jan. 25-31 in Tarbes, France.
Nicholas Garcia, 13, from Hollywood, Fla.; Faris Khan, 13, from New Braunfels, Texas; Zane Khan, 13, also from New Braunfels; and Stefan Leustian, 14, from Mather, Calif., were named to the boys' team.
The girls' team is comprised of 13-year-old Victoria Hu of Northborough, Mass.; 13-year-old Alexa Noel of Summit, N.J.; 12-year-old Gabriella Price of Montebello, N.Y.; and 14-year-old Vanessa Ong of Oklahoma City.
USTA national coaches Eric Nunez and Jean Desdunes will lead the boys and girls' teams, respectively.
Each year, the two events feature some of the world’s best players ages 14-and-under. A number of former Les Petits As champions have gone on to become No. 1 in the world, including Rafael Nadal, Kim Clijsters and Martina Hingis. Former American winners include Michael Chang, Donald Young and Bethanie Mattek-Sands, while Lindsay Davenport was a finalist.
American juniors have had success at both events in recent years. CiCi Bellis (pictured above) swept the girls' singles and doubles titles at both events in 2013 and was the world’s top-ranked junior in 2014. Frances Tiafoe won both boys’ singles titles in 2012 and is now the youngest player ranked in the Top 200 of the pro rankings.