Smaller Fields for 12s and 14s at 2012 Eddie Herr
by Colette Lewis
, 25 November 2012
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For those starting out in international junior tennis, Florida's Eddie Herr tournament is often their first look at the United States. This year, with IMG taking over management of the tournament, the 12s and 14s main draws are smaller, going from 128 in the 12s and 112 in the 14s to 64, with the qualifying draws also limited to 64 players.
Budding ATP and WTA stars Bernard Tomic, Madison Keys and Laura Robson all won Eddie Herr 12s titles, so junior tennis fans eager to test their scouting skills will descend on IMG/Bollettieri Academy
in Bradenton beginning Monday to zero in on their favorites.
The US boys always are well represented in the 12s division, and this year is no exception.
USTA National 12s champion Roscoe Bellamy will be among the top contenders, as will Axel Nefve, who has won two USTA National Opens in addition to the Nike US Junior Masters event. Sangeet Sridhar, who won the gold ball in the Spring Nationals, strengthens the US chances, while Andrew Fenty and Boris Kozlov, whose older brother Stefan won the title in 2009, are also threats to go deep in the draw.
Korea always brings a strong contingent, and this year Ui Sung Park and Kim Dohyun are its top two players.
Two Russian players are poised to follow in the footsteps of last year's winner Artem Dubrivny, with both Nikolay Vylegzhanin and Alen Avidzba taking titles this year on the European 12s circuit.
Yshai Oliel of Israel has three titles in the 12s this year, all on European clay, and has experience at the Eddie Herr, with a fourth round appearance last year.
Other strong players include Nicolas Mejia of Colombia, Karol Suevich of Croatia, Tomas Machac of the Czech Republic and Mihajlo Drobnjakovic of Serbia.