The USTA announced the top American juniors who will represent the United States in the World Junior Tennis Competition Finals. The event features 32 teams (16 boys teams and 16 girls teams) composed of players 14-and-under from 25 nations across the world. The U.S. girls’ team captured its unprecedented fourth consecutive title last year, while the boys last won the title in 2008.
The World Junior Tennis Competition Finals will be held Aug. 1-6 in Prostejov, Czech Republic. The United States is one of seven nations (Argentina, China, Colombia, Czech Republic, Morocco and South Korea) to send a boys’ team and a girls’ team to the World Finals.
Both the U.S. girls team and the U.S. boys teams went undefeated at the North/Central America and Caribbean Regional Championships in May to finish as the top qualifiers for the finals; Canada and Mexico finished second to qualify in the boys and girls competitions, respectively. All three members from the U.S. boys team that competed in May return for the finals, while Rovira and Stewart replace Jessica Ho and Maria Smith on the U.S. girls roster.
Kozlov, 13, is the youngest competitor on either team and is currently the number tow-ranked player in the USTA Boys 14s National Standings. In January, he successfully defended his title at the AEGON International, one of the premier international 14-and-under events held in Bolton, England. He also played on last year’s World Junior Tennis team. Nava, 14, is currently number 14 in the USTA Boys 14s National Standings, and last week reached the quarterfinals at the USTA Boys 14s National Clay Court Championships. Wiersholm, 14, is the top-ranked player in the USTA Boys 14s National Standings, and in February he became the first American boy since 2005 to win the title at Les Petits As in France, the premier international 14-under-event.
O’Loughlin, 14, is the number two-ranked player in the USTA Girls 14s National Standings, and trains full-time at the USTA Training Center-Headquarters in Boca Raton, Fla. She reached the girls 14s semifinals at both the 2010 USTA Winter National Championships and the 2011 USTA Spring National Championships, and teamed with Rovira to reach the doubles final at the 2011 USTA Girls 16s National Clay Court Championships. Rovira, 13, has competed predominantly in USTA Girls 16s events as well as ITF World Junior Circuit (18-and-under) events since winning the 2010 USTA Girls 12s Spring National Championships. Stewart, 14, is the top-ranked player in the USTA Girls14s rankings and has reached the girls 14s final at both the USTA Spring National Championships and the USTA National Clay Court Championships this year.