Photo: Corinne DubreuilNikola Milojevic (SRB)
The first Grade A tournament of the 2012 ITF Junior Circuit kicks off in Mexico City, Mexico next week. Players will be looking to gain an early advantage in the rankings and hit peak form before the first Grand Slam of 2012 in Australia in less than a month’s time. The event has attracted a world class field of youngsters, who will be keen to follow in the footsteps of past tournament champions such as Goran Ivanisevic, Marcos Baghdatis and Jelena Jankovic.
The top seed in the boys event is Nikola Milojevic (SRB). Currently the world number 18, Milojevic will be looking to improve on his quarter final showing of last year. He is joined in the main draw by fellow Serbian, Pedja Krstin, the tournaments number three seed. Krstin enjoyed a consistent year in 2011 which saw him make a number of semi finals at Grade 1 level. The Serbian contingent is split in the seedings by second seeded Yoshihito Nishioka (JPN). The current world number 29 will be confident of a strong performance after making the semi finals of the Orange Bowl only two weeks ago.
The world number 30, Ganna Poznikhirenko (UKR), heads up the girl’s field. Her best performance of 2011 came towards the end of the year with a semi final appearance at the Eddie Herr International. Second seeded Zarah Razafimahatratra (MAD), will be looking to build on a solid 2011 season which saw her capture three African titles. Elizaveta Kulichkova (RUS) is the third seed and is determined to add to her maiden ITF Junior title, won in Delhi ITF Juniors last January.
Home interest in the boy’s event comes in the form of Ricky Medinilla (MEX), who claimed a pair of grade 4 titles in 2011, at the XX Copa Mundo Maya Presentada Por U Galileo 2011 and Copa Tampico. Marcela Zacarias (MEX) and Alejandro Cisneros (MEX) are the highest ranked Mexicans participating in the girls events. They will be trying to emulate the quarter final showing of Ana Sofia Sanchez (MEX), the best performing home player last year.
Daily reports and updates will be available on the ITF Juniors website.