News & Features
US Open Junior Preview
Is a second title in store for any of the four reigning champions?
by Colette Lewis
, 28 August 2008
The year's final Junior Grand Slam has no Rafael Nadal looming over the field, but in the boys event, all three 2008 major winners will be in Flushing Meadows, hoping to secure a second title and front-runner status for the honor of finishing the year as the ITF Junior World Champion.
Fifteen-year-old Australian Bernard Tomic
, who became the youngest male winner of a singles Grand Slam when he took his home country's title in January, was a finalist at an ITF men's event in Indonesia recently and is now ranked 818 on the ATP computer. A quarterfinalist at Roland Garros and a semifinalist at Wimbledon, Tomic will be a particular threat on the hard courts of Flushing Meadows, where he reached the round of 16 as a 14-year-old lucky loser in 2007.
Wimbledon junior champion Grigor Dimitrov has played sparingly on the junior circuit this year, but has been impressive when he has. The 17-year-old Bulgarian reached the quarterfinals at Roland Garros, then really found his form at the All-England Lawn Tennis Club. His straight-set run through the 18-and-under competition there marks him as a favorite at the Billie Jean King USTA National Tennis Center, where he was a runner-up in doubles last year.
The No. 1 seed in New York's junior competition will go to the ITF's top-ranked junior, Chinese Taipei's Tsung-Hua Yang, who reached the final in Australia and took home the winner's trophy in Paris, his country's first junior title on the red clay of Roland Garros. With a current ATP ranking of 479, Yang has proven adept at the next level, and is also the odds-on favorite for the U.S. Open junior doubles crown. He and countryman Cheng-Peng Hsieh took the boys titles in Australia and Wimbledon.
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