| By Long Island Tennis Magazine Staff

The USTA has announced that eight top junior girls qualified for the 2016 Team USA National Junior Team, a training program designed to give a collection of America’s best young players, born in either 2000 or 2001, opportunities to train together during the summer and travel to play against top junior competition from around the world.

Players qualified for the team either automatically–by meeting criteria that include junior and/or pro ranking and tournament results–or through a qualifying playoff, held recently at the USTA Training Center in Boca Raton, Fla. Players were invited for the playoff based on tournament results, USTA national or ITF world ranking.  
2016 Team USA National Junior Team–Girls
►Amanda Anisimova (14, Aventura, Fla.; Coach: Nick Saviano, Kostya Anisimov)
►Elysia Bolton (16, Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y.; Coaches: USTA Training Center – East)
►Carson Branstine (15, Orange, Calif.)
►Abigail Desiatnikov (15, Sandy Springs, Ga.; Coach: Eugene Desiatnikov)
►Ellie Douglas (15, McKinney, Texas)
►Claire Liu (15, Thousand Oaks, Calif.; Coach: Mike Gennette, Adam Peterson)
►Caty McNally (14, Cincinnati; Coach: Lynn McNally)
►Natasha Subhash (14, Fairfax, Va.; Coach: Bear Schofield)

USTA Player Development will provide the National Junior Team with training opportunities and coaching and travel assistance to select ITF junior tournaments throughout the summer, beginning with the French Open Junior Championships or the USTA Pro Circuit $25,000 tournament in Sumter, S.C., in June.

Anisimova is currently the highest-ranked American junior girl in the world, at number five, and has won two prestigious ITF junior tournaments in the last six months, the Grade A Abierto Juvenil Mexicano in November and the Grade 1 Coffee Bowl in Costa Rica in January. Liu is the youngest player in the Top 600 of the WTA pro rankings and won her first pro title last year, at 14-years-old. McNally, at 14, is ranked in the Top 25 of the USTA Girls 18s national rankings and the Top 50 of the world junior rankings.

Bolton, in the last month, won the Girls’ 18s doubles title at the prestigious Easter Bowl and won the girls’ singles title at the Grade 4 ITF world junior event in Coral Gables, Fla. Branstine, No. 7 in the USTA Girls’ 16s national rankings, joins Liu as the only returning members of the National Junior Team. Desiatnikov is the reigning USTA Girls’ 16s singles national champion. Douglas reached the Girls’ 18s singles final at the prestigious Easter Bowl junior tournament last month. Subhash, currently the second-ranked player in the USTA Girls’ 16s national standings, won Girls’ 16s doubles titles at both the USTA national hard- and clay-court championships in 2015.