19 Mar 2015

Who's who: ITF Junior Masters

News Article

Photo: Susan MullaneMarketa Vondrousova (CZE) and Duck Hee Lee (KOR)

We continue our look at the eight boys and eight girls competing in the inaugural ITF Junior Masters on 3-5 April. Today it's the turn of Czech Republic's Marketa Vondrousova and Korea Republic's Duck Hee Lee.

Marketa Vondrousova (CZE)

Marketa Vondrousova (CZE)The youngest girl competing at the ITF Junior Masters, Marketa Vondrousova is anything but inexperienced having reached two Junior Grand Slam semifinals and won the doubles title at the Junior Australian Open earleir this year.

Aged just 15, Vondrousova is the latest tennis talent to come out of the Czech Republic and with a current Junior ranking of No. 7 she looks set to be the real deal.

Vondrousova made herself known on the Juniors circuit in her very first event at the 2013 San Michel International Tournament, in which she won both the singles and doubles titles.

She has since gone on to pick up a total of four singles titles and seven doubles titles, the most high profile of which was the girls' doubles crown at Melbourne Park at the end of January.

Alongside compatriot Miriam Kolodziejova, the Czech pair defeated No. 4 seeds Sara Tomic and Xu Shilin in the semifinals before winning in straight sets against Germany's Katharina Hobgarski and Belgium's Greet Minnen in the final.

Vondrousova also made a big impression in her first two Junior Grand Slam appearances, reaching the semifinals at both Junior Roland Garros and Wimbledon in 2014, losing to eventual champions Darya Kasatkina (RUS) and Jelena Ostapenko (LAT) at each event respectively.

And it is not just on the Juniors circuit that Vondrousova is proving a force to be reckoned with - she finished runner-up in singles (l. Vera Lapko) and won the doubles title (partnering Lapko) at the Sharm El Sheikh $10,000 earlier this month. 

Duck Hee Lee (KOR)

Duck Hee Lee (KOR)With a staggering 17 Juniors titles and two Futures titles to his name, it is hard to believe that Korea Republic's Duck Hee Lee is still only 16 years old.

The youngest boy competing in the ITF Junior Masters field, Lee is one of two Koreans alongside Yunseong Chung and his international fame is not purely down to his tennis prowess.

Lee was born deaf and his disability has stirred the interest of the world's media, not least because it has not hindered his ability to play tennis to the highest level. 

With a career-high Juniors ranking of No. 3, Lee's highlights include being part of the Korean team that finished runner-up in the 2012 World Junior Tennis Finals.

He also won the doubles title at the 2013 Grade A Osaka Mayor’s Cup (partnering Denmark's Simon Friis Soendergaard) and finished runner-up in doubles at the 2014 Asian Closed Champs (alongside China's Zheng Weiqiang). 

He picked up Futures singles titles at Hong Kong (d. Wishaya Trongcharoenchaikul) and Cambodia (d. Dekel Bar) last year and has reached a further two singles semifinals in Sri Lanka and Japan this year.

Lee's Nanjing Youth Olympic Games was ended by cramping in the quarterfinals at one-set-all against eventual gold medallist Kamil Majchrzak (POL) so he will be keen to perform better at another major ITF event on Chinese soil.