19 May 2017

Elite juniors heading to Italy for Trofeo Bonfiglio

News Article

Photo: Srdjan StevanovicOlesya Pervushina (RUS)

The start of the 58th junior Italian Open, known as the Trofeo Bonfiglio tournament, will get under way in Milan, Italy next week and many of the top juniors in the world will be hoping to hoist the title by week’s end.

In the girls’ competition, defending champion Olesya Pervushina of Russia, currently the No. 2 junior in the world, will return to Milan in an attempt to defend her title. Pervushina also won the doubles title with fellow Russian Anastasia Potapova last year, but Potapova will not be on hand to partner with her this year.

For Pervushina, who will be the top seed in the Trofeo Bonfiglio draw, this will be her first venture playing a junior tournament since she fell in the second round of the 2016 US Open last September. She fared better in the 2016 Roland Garros and Wimbledon draws last season reaching the semifinals at both.

Slovenia’s Kaja Juvan, currently ranked No. 10, will be making her first visit to the Milan event and is also making her first junior appearance this season. Her last journey to a junior tournament was a major success as she won the Grade A Orange Bowl title last December where she outlasted Potapova in the final.

Two notable names in the Trofeo Bonfiglio field are Iga Swiatek and Maya Chwalinska. Last September, the duo piloted fourth seeds Poland to the country’s first Junior Fed Cup title. Poland upset top seeds Russia in the semifinals and second seeds USA in the final held in Budapest, Hungary.

Other entrants in the girls’ competition considered favourites to possibly clinch the Trofeo Bonfiglio title are: Amina Anshba of Russia, Emily Appleton of Great Britain, Taylor Johnson of USA, Maria Camila Osorio Serrano of Colombia and Eva Guerrero Alvarez of Spain.

There will be no opportunity for a repeat champion in the boys’ draw as last year’s winner, Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece, will turn 19 years old in August and is no longer eligible for junior competition.

The boys’ draw will be led by No. 3 Wu Yibing of China, who earlier this season reached the Australian Open semifinals. A finalist at the Orange Bowl last year, Wu will be looking to improve on his first round showing at last year’s Trofeo Bonfiglio.

Talented lefty Yshai Oliel of Israel, currently ranked No. 8, will also be highlighted in this year’s draw. Oliel, who retired in the second round of qualifying at the Trofeo Bonfiglio last season, showed incredible form this past January by reaching the Australian Open final where he fell in three sets to Zsombor Piros of Hungary.

American Trent Bryde, ranked No. 10, will also be in the field. Bryde comes into Milan with a confidence boost from having won the first Grade A tournament of the year, on clay, at Porto Alegre, Brazil in February.

Similar to the girls’ draw, two of the three members of the winning Russian team from the 2016 Junior Davis Cup team will also try their luck in Milan. Alexey Zakharov, ranked No. 41, and Timofey Skatov, ranked No. 58, will be making their Trofeo Bonfiglio debuts.

Other boys to keep an eye out for in Milan are: Hsu Yu Hsiou of Taipei, Juan Pablo Grassi Mazzuchi of Argentina, Alexei Popyrin of Australia, and Sebastian Baez of Argentina.

Italy, which hosts this prestigious Grade A junior event, has no direct entries into the girls or boys draw this year. But, undoubtedly, with the help of wildcards and possible success in qualifying, Italy will be represented in both main draws.