World Junior No. 1 Kecmanovic Leads Eddie Herr ITF Boys Field; China's Wang Heads Girls Draw
by Colette Lewis
, 24 November 2016
|Share: || || |
When Miomir Kecmanovic returns to his training base at Bradenton's IMG Academy for next week's International Tennis Federation Grade 1 Eddie Herr, he'll do so as the No. 1 junior in the world. After winning the title at last week's ITF Grade A Abierto Mexicano Juvenil in Mexico City, the 17-year-old from Serbia has moved past Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas, controlling his own fate in the race to finish as the 2016 ITF World Junior Champion.
Kecmanovic reached the final of the US Open Junior Championships
in September and, after last week's title, ran his record to 22-2 in junior matches since late August, when he claimed the title at the ITF Grade 1 in College Park Maryland
. The 2013 Eddie Herr 14s champion
, who will be defending his title at the Grade A Metropolia Orange Bowl
next month, reached the quarterfinals at the Eddie Herr ITF event last year.
The only other ITF Top 10 boy in the draw is Yibing Wu of China, who also reached the quarterfinals at the Eddie Herr last year. Wu, 17, won the ITF Grade B1 Asia/Oceana Closed earlier this month.
ITF No. 12 Benjamin Sigouin of Canada has good memories of the 2015 Eddie Herr to draw from, with the 17-year-old reaching the semifinals after taking out top seed Casper Ruud of Norway in the third round.
Wimbledon boys doubles champion Kenneth Raisma of Estonia, ranked No. 13, is also one to watch, as is University of Florida recruit Duarte Vale of Portugal, who lost to Kecmanovic in the final of the Abierto Juvenil Mexicano. Two years ago Nicolas Mejia of Colombia won the Eddie Herr 14s title, and he will be even more comfortable at the IMG Academy now, having moved there to train earlier this year.
The US cohort of boys will be headed by another former Eddie Herr champion, Sam Riffice, who won the 2014 16s title over Patrick Kypson, also entered in the ITF event this year. Both Riffice and Kypson, the 2015 Kalamazoo 16s champion, have had success in Futures tournaments this month, with Riffice earning his first ATP points by reaching the quarterfinals at the $10,000 event in Niceville, and Kypson advancing to the semifinals of the $10,000 Pensacola Futures last week. Another US boy who has been playing well on the ITF Men's Circuit is Danny Thomas, a three-time Futures doubles champion who reached the singles semifinals at the $10,000 Futures in Costa Rica earlier this month.