The USTA announced the top American juniors who will represent the United States in the World Junior Tennis Competition Finals. The event features 32 teams (16 boys’ teams and 16 girls’ teams) composed of players 14-and-under from 23 nations across the world. The U.S. girls’ team captured its unprecedented third consecutive title last year, while the boys last won the title in 2008.
The World Junior Tennis Competition Finals will be held August 2-7 in Prostejov, Czech Republic. The United States is one of nine nations (Australia, China, Czech Republic, France, Japan, South Korea, Russia and South Africa) to send a boys’ team and a girls’ team to the World Finals.
World Junior Tennis - Boys
Jordan Belga, Elk Grove Village, Ill.
Stefan Kozlov, Pembroke Pines, Fla.
Noah Rubin, Merrick, N.Y.
Coach: Michael Sell
World Junior Tennis - Girls
Gabrielle Andrews, Pomona, Calif.
Brooke Austin, Indianapolis
Taylor Townsend, Stockbridge, Ga.
Coach: Kathy Rinaldi
Both the U.S. girls’ team and the U.S. boys’ teams went undefeated at the North/Central America and Caribbean Regional Championships in May to finish as the top qualifiers for the finals; Canada and Mexico finished second to qualify in the girls’ and boys’ competitions, respectively. Each team returns two members from the teams that competed in May; Kozlov replaces Daniel Kerznerman on the U.S. boys’ team, while Townsend replaces Christina Makarova on the U.S. girls’ roster.
Kozlov, 12, is the youngest competitor on either team and is currently the No. 6 player in the USTA Boys’ 14s National Standings. In January, he won the AEGON International, one of the premier international 14-and-under events held in Bolton, England. Belga, 14, is currently No. 8 in the USTA Boys’ 14s National Standings, and won the USTA Boys’ 14s Spring National Championships, defeating Kozlov in the final. Rubin, 14, is currently No. 10 in the USTA Boys’ 14s National Standings, and in February he reached the final of Les Petits As in France, the second of two premier international 14-under-events held in Europe.
Austin, 14, is the No. 2 player in the USTA Girls’ 16s National Standings, and is on the team for the second consecutive year. She won the girls’ 14s title at the Junior Orange Bowl in December and teamed with Andrews, 13, to win the doubles title at both the AEGON International and Les Petits As. Andrews is the top-ranked player in the USTA Girls’ 14s National Standings and recently swept the singles and doubles titles at the USTA Girls’ 14s Spring National Championships. Joining them will be Townsend, 14, who is No. 6 in the USTA Girls’ 14s rankings and took third place at the USTA Girls’ 14s Spring National Championships, where she also won the doubles title.