PARIS, FRANCE: Australian Open Champion Luke Saville (AUS) will be looking to claim his second grand slam of 2012 when the Roland Garros Junior Championships get underway in Paris on Sunday. Saville heads an impressive field in the boys singles with all of the top 20 in the world competing. Saville has been concentrating on the Men’s Futures circuit since his win in Melbourne but will be looking to banish the memory of last year’s championships where he lost in the first round.
Other challengers include World Number 2 Gianluigi Quinzi (ITA) who has had an impressive 2012 so far capturing 3 clay court titles in South America and also winning the Grade A Trofeo Bonfiglio on home soil in Milan, Italy earlier in the month. Mathias Bourgue 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 successfully defending the Grade A Copa Gerdau trophy in Brazil in March. Other players who have posted strong performances in recent junior circuit events include Borna Coric (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 17 of the world’s top 20 competing. Australian Open champion and world number 1 Taylor Townsend heads the draw. It is Townsend’s first appearance at Roland Garros and there are a number of other strong contenders for the title. Among the favourites will be the Russian pair of Irina Khromacheva and Elisaveta Kulichkova. Khromacheva has been concentrating on the ITF Pro Circuit since reaching the quarter finals of the Australian Open juniors in January. World number 5 Kulichkova reached the semi-finals of the Grade A Trofeo Bonfiglio and also won a women’s $10,000 Futures event in Turkey in April.
World number 7 Anna Danilina will be looking to put her first round defeat in the Trofeo Bonfiglio behind her and post an impressive showing in Paris. The Kazakh has been in exceptional form this year winning two titles on clay including the Grade A title Copa Gerdau in Brazil in March. Donna Vekic, who made the main draw in Paris due to her WTA ranking of 284, will be another strong contender. The 15 year old Croatian has been made her mark on the ITF Pro Circuit winning two futures events so far this year and will be looking to improve on her defeat in the round of 16 in Paris last year.
Four players from the ITF/Grand Slam International 18 & Under Touring Team qualified on Saturday to secure a place in the main draw: Hassan Ndayishimiye (BRI), Jorge Brian Panta Herreros (PER), Hyeon Chung (KOR) in the boys' singles and Su Jeong Jang (KOR) in the girls' event.