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Top Florida Tennis Juniors at Orange Bowl

November 23, 2009 06:00 PM
What is a common thread between tennis luminaries Roger Federer, Chris Evert, Bjorn Borg, John McEnroe, Ivan Lendl, Mary Joe Fernandez, Jim Courier, Andy Roddick and Anna Kournikova? As juniors they all won the Orange Bowl, one of the premier international junior events and an annual showcase for the next wave of tennis professionals from around the globe.

The 63rd Dunlop Orange Bowl International Tennis Championships begin on Sunday, Dec. 6, 2009 at the Crandon Park Tennis Center in Key Biscayne, Fla., and feature among the tennis elite the top boys and girls players from Florida in the 18-and-under and 16-and-under divisions.

Two Floridians are among the six Americans in the Girl's 18 draw in Seminole's Alex Cercone and Boca Raton's Madison Keys. They are joined by Beatrice Capra, Nicole Gibbs, Ester Goldfeld and Grace Min. An additional four players are in the qualifying draw: Delray Beach's Brooke Bolender, Doral's Nadia Echeverria Alam, Bradenton's Annie Mulholland, and Boca Raton's Jessica Pegula.

Thirteen U.S. players are in the Girl's 16 draw, seven of them from Florida in Boca Raton's Breunna Addison, Bradenton's Victoria Duval, Miramar's Kelsey Laurente, Bradenton's Stephanie Nauta, Boca Raton's Denise Starr, Sarasota's Holly Verner, and Miramar's Sachia Vickery. Other U.S. players are Alyza Benotto Wood, Jacqueline Crawford, Hai-Li Kong, Kyle McPhillips, Elizaveta Anna Nemchinov, Riko Shimizu, and Caitlyn Williams. Florida players in the qualifying draw are Caroline Daily of Sarasota, Deborah Suarez of Southwest Ranches, and Jacqueline Zuhse of Boca Raton.

Floridians make up three of the eight players in the Boys' 18 draw in Sekou Bangoura of Bradenton, Dennis Novikov of Boca Raton, and Johannes Robert Van Overbeek of Boca Raton. Other Americans in the draw are Harry Fowler, Mitchell Frank, Denis Kudla, Junior Ore and Raymond Sarmiento. No Floridians are among the eight Americans in the qualifying draw.

Three of the nine Americans in the Boys' 16 main draw are from Florida in Lake Worth's Jeremy Efferding, Longboat Key's Morgan Mays and Bradenton's Trey Strobel. The other six U.S. players are comprised of Connor Farren, Bjron Fratangelo, Eric James Johnson, Mitchell Krueger, Daniel McCall, and Mac Styslinger.

The Boys' 16 qualifying draw is loaded with 40 U.S. players, including Floridians Boris Bogomolov of Miami, Brett Clark of Naples, Dominic Cotrone of Bradenton, Ramario Francis of Miami, Balaji Jothishankar of Bradenton, Daniel Khanin of Bradenton, Robert Livi of Mirimar, Spencer Newman of Palmetto Bay, Michael Rinaldi of Palm City, Austin Robles of Naples, Matt Saiontz of Miami, Ognjen Samardzic of Bradenton, Julian Turosienski of Sarasota, and Gordon Watson of Naples.

"The Dunlop Orange Bowl provides our top junior players a chance to play world-class competition right here in the U.S. in one of the marquee junior tournaments in the world," said Tournament Director Lew Brewer, who also serves as director, Junior Competition, USTA Player Development. "The tournament traditionally draws a number of the world's top junior players and often determines the year-end No. 1 players in the ITF Junior Circuit, and this year we received a record number of entrants in all four draws."

The Boys' 18s field includes three of the Top 10 players in the world, led by Daniel Berta of Sweden, currently the top-ranked player in the ITF World Junior Rankings and the winner of the boys' singles title at Roland Garros. Gianni Mina of France, who lost to Berta in the final at Roland Garros and reached the boys' singles semifinals at the US Open, is also entered.

The Girls' 18s field features two of this year's Grand Slam winners, led by Kristina Mladenovic of France, currently No. 1 in the ITF World Junior Rankings, and No. 3 Heather Watson of Great Britain. Mladenovic won the girls' singles title at the French Open, and was a finalist in girls' singles at Wimbledon. Watson won the girls' singles title at the US Open, and is currently No. 3 in the ITF World Junior Rankings. 

For more information on the 2009 Dunlop Orange Bowl, visit www.dunloporangebowl.com.






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