Photo: Fred MullaneAlexander Zverev (GER)
FLORIDA, USA: A world class field will assemble at the Frank Veltri Tennis Centre, Florida next week for the 67th edition of the Orange Bowl, the last Grade A event of the year. Many of the game’s current stars are past Orange Bowl champions, including Roger Federer, Andy Roddick and Caroline Wozniacki, and some of the best junior players in the world will be hoping to add their names to that illustrious winners’ list.
World No. 1 Alexander Zverev and World No. 5 Varvara Flink headline the entries for the 2013 Metropolia Orange Bowl International Championships which get underway on Monday.
In the girls’ event Varvara Flink will be looking to pick up her second grade A title of the year after winning the Copa Gerdau in March. Just five places behind Flink in the world rankings is Serbia’s Ivana Jorovic, who will also be looking to claim a second Grade A title of the year. The 16-year-old enjoyed a straight sets victory over Flink in the final of the Osaka Mayor’s Cup to claim her maiden Grade A title and move into the top ten for the first time.
Tornado Black (USA) is the youngest player inside the Top 20, at No. 11 in the junior rankings, and will be looking for her first Grade A win. The 15-year-old was a surprise finalist at the US Open Junior Championships earlier this year, narrowly losing to Croatia’s Ana Konjuh in a third set tiebreak. The host nation will be hopeful of some strong interest towards the business end of the week with Black and Johnisse Renaud.
In the boys’ event, world No. 1 Alexander Zverev (GER) is favourite for the title after a very competitive year which saw him claim his first Grade A title at Italy’s Trofeo Bonfiglio as well as reaching his first Grand Slam final at Junior Roland Garros. Zverev is the youngest player inside the Top ten and will be hoping to improve on the 1st round exit suffered at the Eddie Herr International Junior Tennis Championships earlier this week.
Fourth and sixth seeds respectively, Stefan Kozlov and Michael Mmoh, will be flying the home flag and hoping to give the hosts a home victory for the first time since 2004. Mmoh claimed his first Grade A title in Osaka in October and will no doubt be looking to continue his impressive form. Kozlov has reached a handful of finals but is yet to secure his first Grade A title win, but will be hopeful of doing so after his good run at the Eddie Herr International Junior Tennis Championships.
Also in with a strong chance are second seeded Johan Sebastien Tatlot (FRA) and Italy’s Filippo Baldi, who reached the semifinals at last year’s Orange Bowl.
Daily results and reports from the Orange Bowl will be available on www.itftennis.com/juniors.