World’s best junior tennis players coming to Gables

By John Maxsween….
The world’s best 14 and under (U14) and 12 and under (U12) tennis players will be coming to Coral Gables this month for the 49th annual Junior Orange Bowl International Tennis Championship.

This prestigious junior tournament has received more than 1,200 entrant applications from 75 countries from Asia, Europe, North, South, and Central America. About 40 U.S. states will be represented as well. The Junior Orange Bowl International Tennis Championship will be conducting a qualifying event Dec. 14-16, and the main draw is set for Dec. 17-23.

The Junior Orange Bowl International Tennis Championship is broken up into four divisions: Boys 14 and under, Girls 14 and under, Boys 12 and under, and Girls 12 and under. Each division will take place at a different location. Boys 14 and under will take place at the University of Miami Tennis Center; Girls 14 and under at the Biltmore Tennis Center; Boys 12 and under at the Tropical Park Tennis Center, and Girls 12 and under at Salvadore Park.

Twenty of the 25 top-ranked U.S. Boys 14 and under have entered the tournament, and 12 of the 20 top-ranked US Girls 14 and under are participating.

The Junior Orange Bowl International Tennis Championship has a rich history of attracting the world’s most promising young tennis players to Coral Gables. Past participants of the Junior Orange Bowl International Tennis Championship have included Juan Martin Del Potro, who won the 2002 Boys 14 and under championship and is the 2009 U.S. Open champion, as well as Justine Henin, who won the 1996 Girls 14 and under championship and is a seven-time Grand Slam winner. Other notable past participants are Andy Roddick, Caroline Wozniacki, Kim Clijsters, Andre Agassi, Monica Seles, Chris Evert, Jim Courier and Mary Jo Fernandez.

This year’s finals for the Boys 14 and under, Girls 14 and under, and Boys 12 and under will take place at the University of Miami Tennis Center on Dec. 23, starting at 9 a.m. The finals for the Girls 12 and under will be at Salvadore Park at 8 a.m. on Dec. 22.

The International Tennis Championship is one of 20 athletic, artistic and cultural events that make up the 2010-11 Junior Orange Bowl International Youth Festival. The Festival spans four months and is highlighted by the Junior Orange Bowl Parade, which takes place on Jan. 2, 2011 at 4 p.m.

For more information, contact director Jodi Steinbauer at 305-662-6072 or visit the JOB website at www.jrorangebowl.org/tennis.


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