The International Tennis Federation’s team competitions for the sub juniors, currently cover two age groups, 14 & Under and 16 & Under.
Both competitions give young tennis players from around the world, the opportunity to experience international competition and the unique atmosphere of playing in a team for their country.
Every team, except for the Finals host nation teams who are granted an automatic place in the Finals, must compete in tough regional qualifying competitions to make it through to the annual Finals.
For a recap of the Asian Regional Qualifying Competition, please refer to our previous April newsletter which can be found here by clicking here: April 2017 Newsletter
ITF WORLD JUNIOR TENNIS
COMPETITION FOR 14 & UNDER
The ITF World Junior Tennis Competition, the International Team Competition for players aged 14 & Under, was started by the ITF in 1991.
Top 16 Boys’ and Girls’ teams from Regional Qualifying compete for the world title with over 100 countries represented in the opening stages of the competition around the world. The 2016 Finals were held in Prostejov, Czech Republic. Before going into the 2017 Championships, Argentina in the Boys and Ukraine in the Girls were the reigning Champions.
The 2017 World Finals started off in Prostejov, with the following teams being seeded:
From the Asia Oceania Regional Qualifying Round, which was held in April (Bangkok), four teams each had qualified for the World Finals, held in Prostejov.
Teams from China, Australia, Thailand and Japan in the Boys and from China, Korea, Thailand and Australia in the Girls found themselves competing against the very best teams from other continents around the world.
Boys Draw: While Australia found themselves in Group A, along side the top seeds USA and sixth seeds Czech Republic, Thailand was drawn in Group B, with Argentina (4) and Russia (5) as the two seeds in the group.
Japan (7), found a place in Group C, with Spain (3) as the other seeded team, while China (2) and Brazil (8) were pitted together in Group D, along with other nations, comprising the top 16 teams from around the world.
The event started off with the best teams from around the world rubbing shoulders with each other.
In Group A, Australian boys found it tough getting past their opponents, losing out to USA, Czech Republic and Italy, finishing at the bottom of the table.
In Group B Boys from Thailand found themselves in a similar position losing out to Argentina, Russia and Switzerland finishing fourth in the group.
In Group C, Japanese boys asserted their superior playing skills, beating teams from Spain (3) 3-0, Peru 2-1 and Egypt 3-0 to end up as the top team of their group.
China (2) however dropped one tie to Brazil (8) to end up on the second spot of Group D, beating Mexico and Serbia.
At the end of the Group stage, the 8 teams moving ahead to the Play Off Stage (1-8) were USA & Italy (A), Russia & Switzerland (B), Japan & Spain (C), and Brazil & China (D).
In the Play Offs (1-8) stage Quarter Finals, Japan and China made it to the last four, beating Italy and Russia respectively.
However in the Semi Finals Japan lost to Switzerland while China lost to Spain in highly competitive ties, pitting both the Asian teams together in a fight to finish on the third spot of the tournament.
While in the finals of the ITF WJT Competition 2017, Switzerland overcame the Spanish challenge ending as the Champions, Japan pipped the China boys team to end up on the third spot of the world stage competition for the Under 14s.
Final standings of the four teams from Asia Oceania Zone at the end of the ITF World Junior Tennis Competition for 14&Unders (Prostejov, Czech Rep) were:
Girls Draw: In the Girls competition, Korea (7) found themselves in Group A, along side top seeds Ukraine; while Australia (4) had the Czech Republic (6) giving them company in Group B of the event.
In Group C were Thailand placed along side Russia (3) and Peru (8), while in Group D to give company to China girls were seeded teams from USA (2) and France (5).
At the end of the preliminary stage; in Group A, Korea (7) finished second behind Ukraine; in Group B, Australia (4) ended on the second spot behind Czech Republic (6);
In Group C, Thailand ended fourth and in Group D China ended second to USA (2).
With their efforts, Girls teams of China, Korea and Australia found themselves in the last 8, pitted against Czech Republic (6), Russia (3) and USA (2) respectively.
The element of strength in the girls competition could be gauged from the fact that none of the top four teams from the Asia Oceania Zone could qualify to the Semi Finals stage.
While China lost 2-1 to Czech Republic, the challenges of Korea and Australia were won by Russia and USA respectively.
The final standing of the four Girls teams from Asia Oceania, were as follows:
Photography Credits: Srdjan Stevanovic