16 Oct 2017

2017 ITF Junior Masters: Who's who

News Article

Photo: Susan MullaneSofia Sewing (USA)

In the build up to this year’s ITF Junior Masters, we are introducing the players who will compete in Chengdu. For today's article, we take a closer look at American Sofia Sewing.

Sewing made her junior circuit debut in September 2012 when she was just 13 years of age. She reached the quarterfinals in doubles in the first four tournaments she contested, and reached her first singles quarterfinal in just her second tournament.

Her first final came in July 2013, a few weeks before her 14th birthday. At a Grade 5 event in Cuba, Sewing fell in three sets in the title match. A second final followed in August, but a similar result saw her miss out again.

A first title wasn’t far away, and in the very next week Sewing reached her third final, this time at a Grade 4 event in Mexico. It was third time lucky for Sewing as she won in straight sets to claim her first title, topping off the week with the doubles title as well, her first title in her first final.

Her strong performances earned her a spot in some of the Grade 1 events in South America at the start of 2014, and she won a few rounds in each but could not reach the latter stages. A drop back down to Grade 3 and 4 events saw her continually pick up wins, and she earned a place in the Grade A Abierto Juvenil Mexicano in November 2014.

In her first tournament at the top level, Sewing fell to Tereza Mihalikova, who competed at last year’s ITF Junior Masters, in the opening round.

At the start of 2015, Sewing made a step up, competing primarily in the top-tier of events. Her performances earned her a spot in qualifying for the junior US Open, where she fell in the second round.

Sewing went into the Abierto Juvenil Mexicano in 2015 with considerably more confidence and it showed as she advanced to the quarterfinals, falling in three sets to Katie Swan who finished as runner-up in Chengdu last year. She also reached the quarterfinals of the doubles alongside Colombian Emiliana Arango.

More titles followed in 2016, including the doubles trophy at a Grade 1 in Maryland, USA, the most high-profile title in her career, and at the end of the year, Sewing put in a series of strong performances, narrowly missing out on doubles titles at the Yucatan Cup in Mexico and the prestigious Eddie Herr tournament in Florida.

In February of 2017, Sewing put in a series of impressive performances to reach her first Grade A final in Porto Alegre. Three of her five matches en route to the final were won in a deciding set, but she fell in the final to fellow American Amanda Anisimova. She had cause to celebrate at the end of the week, however, as she lifted the doubles title alongside Maria Jose Portillo Ramirez.

In June 2017, Sewing competed in her first junior Grand Slam, at Roland Garros, but fell in the opening round of both the singles and doubles. Her Sofia Sewing (USA)next junior major appearance would prove to be more successful.

In July, in just her second-ever tournament on grass, Sewing reached the quarterfinals at Junior Wimbledon, losing in three sets, and reached the semifinals in the doubles, again alongside Portillo Ramirez.

On the ITF Pro Circuit, Sewing earned her first victory in March 2016 at a $10,000 event in Florida, coming through qualifying and winning her opening round match in a third-set tiebreak.

Sewing’s first Pro Circuit final came in doubles, as she and Russian Veronica Miroshnichenko reached the title match at a $10,000 event in Delaware, USA. The duo could not claim the silverware, falling to American pair Sophie Chang and Alexandra Mueller in the title match.

Her best performance in singles came at the start of this month when, as a qualifier, Sewing reached the quarterfinals, losing to Norway’s Ulrikke Eikeri.

The 2017 ITF Junior Masters will take place at the Sichuan International Tennis Center in Chengdu, China on 25-29 October.