Photo: Corinne DubreuilNick Kyrgios (AUS)
PARIS, FRANCE: Australian Open Champion Nick Kyrgios (AUS) will be looking to claim his second grand slam of 2013 when the Roland Garros Junior French Championships get underway in Paris on Sunday. Kyrgios heads an excellent field in the boys’ singles, with 19 of the world’s top 20 competing.
Kyrgios has been concentrating on the Men’s Futures circuit since his win in Melbourne, winning one event and reaching the final of another, in addition to the Sydney Challenger title he won in February. Kyrgios was also the recipient of a Wild Card into the mens singles event this week, reaching the second round by defeating Radek Stepanek (CZE) in straight sets.
Other challengers include world Number 2 Gianluigi Quinzi (ITA) who has had an impressive 2013 so far, capturing the Grade A Copa Gerdau clay court title in Brazil and reaching the final of 3 Men’s Futures tournaments.
Johan Sebastien Tatlot will be looking to become the first French boy to win the singles title since Gael Monfils in 2004 and has shown impressive form on clay, including defeating Quinzi for the Grade 1 Banana Bowl title in Brazil in March.
Alexander Zverev (GER) is the form challenger after he became the youngest ever winner of the Grade A Trofeo Bonfiglio clay court title earlier this month. Other players who have posted strong performances in their recent junior circuit events include Laslo Djere (CRO) and International 18&U ITF/GSDF Team to Europe member Wayne Montgomery (RSA).
The girl’s field is also of the highest quality with 18 of the world’s top 20 competing. Australian Open champion and world No1 Ana Konjuh (CRO) leads the field. It is Konjuh’s first appearance at Roland Garros and there are a number of other strong contenders for the title.
Among the favourites will be the Konjuh’s Australian Open final opponent and world No3 Katerina Siniakova (CZE) who returns to the ITF Junior Circuit, having concentrated on Womens Circuit events since Melbourne.
World No2, Switzerland’s Belinda Bencic, recently dominated the clay court Trofeo Bonfiglio to claim her second Grade A title of 2013, having already won the Abierto Juvenil Mexicano event, also on clay. Bencic enters the tournament on a 19 match unbeaten run stretching back to December 2012.
World No4 Varvara Flink (RUS) is has displayed good form in 2013, winning the clay court Grade A Copa Gerdau title in March, whilst Roland Garros also sees the return of the 2012 World Champion and Junior Fed Cup winner Taylor Townsend (USA), who will look to improve on her Round 16 defeat in last year’s event.