Photo: Susan MullaneKaterina Siniakova (CZE)
Nick Kyrgios (AUS) and Katerina Siniakova (CZE) are the top seeds at Asia’s Grade A tournament, the Osaka Mayor’s Cup, which gets underway on Monday.
Currently at a career high of No. 5 in the ITF Junior rankings, Kyrgios will look to improve on his semifinal showing in Osaka last year. He will be full of confidence after a strong run through to the semifinals in the Australia F10 Futures last week, which included a win over the reigning Australian Open boys' champion, Luke Saville (AUS).
Other players looking to upset Kyrgios are Kaichi Uchida (JPN) and Nikola Milojevic (SRB). Uchida, seeded second, will look to continue the good form which saw him reach the semifinals in Flushing Meadows last month. Milojevic was the winner of two Grade One events in Malaysia earlier in 2012 and will be keen for the same success on his return to Asia.
Siniakova (CZE) heads up a strong girls' field. Her highlight of the year to date is winning another Grade A event, the 53 Trofeo Bonfiglio, in May. Another strong contender for the penultimate Grade A tournament of 2012 is second seed Chen-Wen Hsu (TPE). She captured the Asian Closed title in April and will be looking for repeat success in Osaka.
Hikari Yamamoto (JPN) and Mami Adachi (JPN) lead the contingent hoping to perform well on home soil. Seeded seventh and ninth respectively, they will be buoyed by Kei Nishikori’s victory in the Rakuten Japan Open, an ATP 500 event, earlier this month.
The Osaka Mayor’s Cup provides the highlight of the second half of the tennis calendar in Asia. With two Grade A events left to play in 2012, everything could change at the top of the rankings by the end of the year, and many of the world’s best junior players are here in search of vital points.
Results, reports and photos will be available every day next week on www.itftennis.com/juniors.