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Bellis, Mmoh Highlight 2014 Eddie Herr ITF Tournament

The 2014 edition of the Eddie Herr ITF features two top American prospects, with USTA 18s champion CiCi Bellis and recent ITF Grade A Abierto Juvenil Mexicano champion Michael Mmoh among the contenders at the prestigious event held annually at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida.

World No. 1 Shilin Xu of China was originally scheduled to compete, but the 16-year-old Youth Olympic Games gold medalist received a wild card into the Australian Open Asia-Pacific women's wild card tournament and by advancing to the semifinals, could not arrive in the US in time for the tournament's start.

Bellis has been ranked No. 1 this year, but is currently second behind Xu, with an opportunity to make up ground in the race to be named ITF World Junior Champion next month. Bellis made a name for herself in New York this summer, defeating Australian Open finalist Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia in the first round of the US Open, then went on to lead the US team to a Junior Fed Cup title in September and to win back-to-back $25,000 Pro Circuit events in South Carolina in October. Now 262 in the WTA rankings, the 15-year-old from Northern California has been training on Bollettieri Har-Tru courts in preparation for the junior season finales.

Although defending champion Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia will not be returning, last year's finalist Sandra Samir of Egypt is entered, as is semifinalist Jacqueline Cristian of Romania.

Hungary has two serious contenders in Fanni Stollar and Dalma Galfi. Stollar, 16, is a former Eddie Herr champion, winning the 14s in 2012, while Galfi, also 16, recently won back-to-back $10,000 ITF Women's Circuit titles in Greece. Stollar reached the singles semifinals and won the doubles title at the Grade A Abierto Juvenil in Mexico City, which kicked off the ITF junior circuit year-end clay swing, while Galfi took home the trophy there, her first at a Grade A.

Russia always provides quality in the girls draw, and this year is no exception. Anna Kalinskaya, who turns 16 during the tournament, won the Grade 1 International Hard Court championships back in August and has reached the quarterfinals of the last two Grade A tournaments in Japan and Mexico. Sofya Zhuk, who turns 15 during the tournament, has already collected a professional title on clay, at a $10,000 tournament in Kazakhstan, and reached the final at last week's Grade 1 Yucatan Cup. Anna Blinkova and Evgeniya Levashova are two additional ITF Top 40 Russians to keep an eye on.

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Page updated on Monday, March 09, 2020
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