Bellis, who helped lead the U.S. to the Junior Fed Cup title in 2014 (its second title in three years), reunites with Gordon, with whom she won World Junior Tennis gold in 2013. Since then, Bellis has risen into the sport’s Top 200 after a breakout performance at the 2014 US Open, where she upset then-No. 12 Dominika Cibulkova in the first round, becoming the youngest player to win a US Open main-draw match since 1996. Gordon, meanwhile, has risen into the Top 30 of the ITF world junior rankings, and Day was the 2014 USTA Girls’ 16s National Championships runner-up.
The following was sent to me by USTA’s Press Office:
U.S. to Host Junior Davis and Fed Cup by BNP Paribas, World Junior Tennis
North/Central American and Caribbean Final Qualifying
at the USTA Training Center – Headquarters in Boca Raton, Fla.
The USTA today announced that reigning ITF World Junior Champion CiCi Bellis leads the 12 top juniors nominated to represent the U.S. in the qualifying rounds of Junior Davis and Fed Cup by BNP Paribas (16-and-under) and World Junior Tennis (14-and-under), the world’s premier junior team competitions. The events will be played April 30-May 2 at the USTA Training Center – Headquarters in Boca Raton, Fla.
The North/Central American and Caribbean Final Qualifying rounds – three days of round-robin play, with each matchup consisting of two singles matches and one doubles match – will be played on the Training Center’s green clay courts. The top two countries from each four-country pool will advance to the Junior Davis and Fed Cup Finals (September 29-October 4 in Madrid, Spain) and World Junior Tennis Finals (August 3-8 in Prostejov, Czech Republic). The full U.S. team nominations:
Junior Davis Cup vs. Aruba, Canada, Mexico
Vasil Kirkov (16, Tampa, Fla.; Coaches: Sylvain Guichard, Stoyan Kirkov)
Sam Riffice (16, Roseville, Calif.; Coaches: Sylvain Guichard, Lori Riffice)
Gianni Ross (16, La Grange, Ill.; Coaches: Jack Sharpe, Robbye Poole)
Junior Fed Cup vs. Canada, Dominican Republic, Mexico
CiCi Bellis (15, Atherton, Calif.; Coach: Lori Bellis)
Kayla Day (15, Santa Barbara, Calif.; Coaches: Mike Gennette, Aaron Webster, Leo Azevedo, Adam Peterson)
Michaela Gordon (15, Los Altos Hills, Calif.; Coaches: John Hubbell, Leo Azevedo)
World Junior Tennis – Boys vs. Canada, Guatemala, Mexico
Govind Nanda (14, Redlands, Calif.; Coach: Vahe Assadourian)
Brandon Nakashima (13, San Diego; Coach: Angel Lopez)
Adam Neff (13, Bradenton, Fla.; Coach: Lance Luciani)
World Junior Tennis – Girls vs. Canada, Guatemala, Mexico
Amanda Anisimova(13, Hallandale Beach, Fla.; Coaches: Konstantin Anisimov, Richard Ashby)
Hurricane Tyra Black (14, Boca Raton, Fla.; Coach: Gayal and Sly Black)
Caty McNally (14, Cincinnati, Ohio; Coach: Lynn Nabors-McNally)
Ross helped the U.S. win its third Junior Davis Cup title in 2014. He and Riffice, the No. 1 player in the USTA Boys’ 16s national standings, led the U.S. to the World Junior Tennis finals in 2013.
The U.S. has won three Junior Fed Cup titles (2008, 2012, 2014); three Junior Davis Cup titles (1999, 2008, 2014); six World Junior Tennis girls’ titles (1992, 2007-10, 2013) and four World Junior Tennis boys’ titles (2002-03, 2008, 2012). Former U.S. junior international team members include Jim Courier, Andy Roddick, James Blake, Lindsay Davenport, and Sloane Stephens. Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic also have represented their respective countries in junior international team competition.
Editor’s Note: I’ve had the pleasure of watching several of these juniors play. They are definitely among the ones to keep an eye on in the coming years as they are each poised to accomplish great things on the junior and possibly even professional circuit!