23 Mar 2015

Who's who: ITF Junior Masters

News Article

Photo: Susan MullaneJelena Ostapenko (LAT) and Chung Yunseong (KOR)

We continue our look at the eight boys and eight girls competing in the ITF Junior Masters event in Chengdu on 3-5 April. Today we feature Latvia's Jelena Ostapenko and Korea, Republic's Chung Yunseong.

Jelena Ostapenko (LAT)

Jelena Ostapenko (LAT)Having reached a career-high Junior ranking of No. 2, there was always good reason to believe that Latvia's Jelena Ostapenko would go on to have a bright future on the women's tour.

What is slightly surprising is that at the age of 17 she has already won her first $50,000 singles title (at Saint Petersburg last month) and has amassed an astonishing 15 professional titles in singles and doubles.

Ostapenko, who has a career-high singles ranking of No. 186, won her first professional title at the age of of 15 (at the Women's $10,000 in Stockholm) and has since gone on to represent her country in Fed Cup by BNP Paribas.

She made her Fed Cup debut in 2013, helping Latvia earn promotion from Europe/Africa Zone Group II and she was instrumental in keeping her team in Zone Group I with two vital points against Austria in a relegation play-off earlier this year.

The Riga resident enjoyed a successful Juniors career, highlighted by a triumph at Junior Wimbledon last year when she defeated Slovakia's Kristina Schmiedlova in the final.

Ostapenko, who was part of the 2012 ITF/GSDF 18&U team to Europe, won a further Grade 1 singles titles but is now concentrating on her professional career.

Chung Yunseong (KOR)

Yunseong Chung (KOR)The second of two Korean boys to be competing in the inaugural ITF Junior Masters is Chung Yunseong.

Aged just 16 (he turns 17 on March 27) Chung is also the second youngest player competing in the men's singles - the only player younger than him being his compatriot Duck Hee Lee.

Chung has a career-high Juniors ranking of No. 6 and it is in the team format that he has enjoyed his most success with runner-up finishes at the 2012 ITF World Junior Tennis Finals and at both the 2013 and 2014 Junior Davis Cup by BNP Paribas Finals.

Born in Seoul, Chung was a late starter (by modern standards) as he was eight years old when he first began to play tennis.

That hasn't stopped him from winning 10 Juniors titles, including five singles titles on home soil.

Chung, who was part of the 2014 ITF/GSDF 18U& team to North America and the 2012 ATF/ITF/GSDF 14&U team to Europe, has yet to move past the third round at a Junior Grand Slam and was knocked out in the second round of the boys' singles at the Nanjing Youth Olympic Games.