Junior Exempt Briefs



A number of positive performances were achieved in the first two years of the project. Of those female players eligible in 1997, Amelie Mauresmo, the 1996 ITF Junior World Champion, claimed the title at a $50,000 tournament in Greece, while second placed Mirjana Lucic won a $75,000 event in Croatia.

Samantha Reeves reached the final of a $25,000 tournament in Newport Beach, USA, and Olga Barabanschikova reached the semifinals of a $50,000 tournament in Southampton, Great Britain, before injury halted her progress. 

The 1998 participants also acquitted themselves very creditably. Justine Henin travelled to Orlando, USA, defeating all comers to collect the title at a $25,000 tournament. The 1997 ITF Junior World Champion, Cara Black, reached the semifinals of a $75,000 event in Portugal, while Jelena Kostanic also reached the same stage at a $25,000 tournament in Germany.

In 2005, Michaella Krajicek opened the year with a win at her allocated $75,000 tournament in Italy in January. 2005 was a year that saw her rankings rise from 245 to 58 (as at 14 Nov) - a great example of a successful Junior Exempt player who has made a smooth transition from ITF Junior Circuits to ITF Womens Circuits and then onto WTA Tour.

Another notable performance in 2005 came from Viktoria Azarenka who made at least the quarterfinals of all three Junior Exempt tournaments she competed in.

By April 2012, there had been four ex-Junior Exempt female players who had gone on to achieve a WTA Number One singles ranking and three who collected ten Grand Slam singles titles between them.

Since the programme was extended to include male players in 2007 it has witnessed ex-Junior Exempt male players managing to break into the ATP Top 100.