| By Long Island Tennis Magazine Staff

The USTA has announced the acceptance lists for the 64th Dunlop Orange Bowl International Tennis Championships, which begins Sunday, Dec. 5 at the Crandon Park Tennis Center in Key Biscayne, Fla. The qualifying draw will take place beginning Friday, Dec. 3. The Dunlop Orange Bowl features singles and doubles competition for boys and girls in 18-and-Under and 16-and-Under Divisions.

“The Dunlop Orange Bowl provides our top junior players a chance to play world-class competition right here in the U.S. in one of the marquee junior tournaments in the world,” said tournament director Lew Brewer, who also serves as director, junior competition, USTA Player Development. “The tournament traditionally draws a number of the world’s top junior players and often determines the year-end number one players in the ITF Junior Circuit, and this year we received a record number of entrants in all four draws.”

The Boys’ 18s field includes four of the top 10 players in the world, led by ITF World Junior number one-ranked Juan Sebastian Gomez of Colombia. The field also includes Ecuador’s Roberto Quiroz, who won the boys’ doubles titles at the French and U.S. Opens, and Great Britain’s Oliver Golding, who reached the boys’ doubles final at the U.S. Open and was a Wimbledon boys’ semifinalist.

Bjorn Fratangelo of Pittsburgh, and Shane Vinsant of Keller, Texas, will lead the American contingent. Fratangelo won both the Easter Bowl and the USTA Boys’ 18s National Clay Court Championships, and is currently ranked number 50th in the ITF World Junior Rankings. Vinsant was a singles and doubles finalist at the USTA Boys’ 16s National Championships, and took third place at the 2010 USTA Boys’ 18s National Clay Court Championships. 

The Girls’ 18s field features two of this year’s Grand Slam winners, led by Daria Gavrilova of Russia, currently top ranked in the ITF World Junior Rankings, and number three Elina Svitolina of Ukraine. Gavrilova won the girls’ singles title at the U.S. Open, and is the reigning champion at the Eddie Herr International. Svitolina won the girls’ singles title at the French Open, and was a girls’ doubles runner-up at Wimbledon.

The American contingent is led by 16th ranked Lauren Davis of Gates Mills, Ohio, a two-time USTA Girls’ 16s National Champion who won her first two professional titles at USTA Pro Circuit events in Williamsburg, Va., and Bayamon, Puerto Rico, in October; world number 33-ranked Madison Keys of Boca Raton, Fla., who won her first professional title in July at a USTA Pro Circuit event in Cleveland; and world number 37th-ranked Krista Hardebeck of Santa Ana, Calif., who won back-to-back titles at the USTA International Spring Championships and the Easter Bowl in April. Davis (number 440), Keys (number 484) and Hardebeck (number 398) are three of the five highest-ranked entrants on the WTA Tour.

Founded by Eddie Herr in 1947, the Orange Bowl quickly became one of the premier international junior events in the world, and an annual showcase for the global scope of the game. Players from more than 50 countries have competed in the tournament, and champions have emerged from 24 different nations. A number of Dunlop Orange Bowl champions have used the occasion to announce plans to turn professional.

In 1998, the event moved from the clay courts at Flamingo Park in Miami Beach to the hard courts of its current location in Key Biscayne. World number one-ranked Roger Federer and 2008 women’s singles Olympic gold medalist Elena Dementieva were the first 18s champions at this event on hard courts.

Other past winners of the Orange Bowl 18-and-under singles titles include: Chris Evert (1969, 1970), Bjorn Borg (1972), John McEnroe (1976), Ivan Lendl (1977), Gabriela Sabatini (1984), Mary Joe Fernandez (1986), Jim Courier (1987) and Anna Kournikova (1995). Andy Roddick (1999), Vera Zvonareva (2000, 2001), Marcos Baghdatis (2003) and Nicole Vaidisova (2003) all won the event on hard courts.

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