| By New York Tennis Magazine Staff

The USTA has announced the acceptance lists for the 65th Orange Bowl International Tennis Championships, which begins Monday, Dec. 5 at the Frank Veltri Tennis Center in Plantation, Fla. The event will be contested on clay for the first time since 1998. The qualifying draw will take place beginning Friday, Dec. 2. The Orange Bowl features singles and doubles competition for boys and girls in 18-and-under and 16-and-under divisions.

“The 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. “Moving the event back to its clay court roots will help the development of our players, helping them to improve court awareness and movement while facing some of the world’s top junior tennis players.”

The following juniors will be representing New York City at the 65th Orange Bowl:

Girls 16s Entries-Qualifying Draw

►Ariana Rodriguez, Bronx, N.Y.

Boys 16s Entries-Qualifying Draw

►Justin Fields, New York City

►Daniel Kerznerman, Brooklyn, N.Y.

The Boys 18s field is led by 2011 French Open boys’ runner-up Dominic Thiem of Austria. The field also includes Britons Liam Broady, who reached the boys’ singles final at Wimbledon, and Kyle Edmund, who reached the boys’ semifinals at the US Open. Mitchell Krueger of Aledo, Texas, and Alexios Halebian of Glendale, Calif., will lead the American contingent. Krueger reached the boys’ quarterfinals at the 2011 Australian Open and reached the boys’ doubles final at the 2011 French Open. Halebian, who trains full-time at the USTA Training Center-Headquarters in Boca Raton, Fla., won the 2011 USTA Boys’ 18s National Clay Court Championships and reached the boys 18s semifinals at the 2010 Orange Bowl.

The Girls 18s field is led by Eugenie Bouchard of Canada, currently number five in the ITF World Junior Rankings, and number 10 Indy De Vroome of the Netherlands. Bouchard won the prestigious Copa Gerdau on clay courts in Brazil as well as the girls doubles title at Wimbledon. De Vroome won the girls’ singles title at the AEGON Junior International in Roehampton and reached the girls’ semifinals at Wimbledon. The American contingent is led by world number 19-ranked Victoria Duval of Norcross, Ga., who reached the girls’ singles quarterfinals at both Wimbledon and the U.S. Open in 2011; world number 40 Gabrielle Andrews of Pomona, Calif., who won the 2011 USTA Girls 18s National Clay Court Championships and reached the girls 18s final at the 2011 Easter Bowl; Taylor Townsend of Stockbridge, Ga., who trains full-time at the USTA Training Center Headquarters in Boca Raton, Fla., and who reached the semifinals at the USTA Pro Circuit $50,000 event in Carson, Calif., in April; and Alexandra Kiick of Plantation, Fla., the daughter of former Miami Dolphins running back Jim Kiick, who won the girls 16s title at the 2010 Orange Bowl, and captured her first professional title in 2011 on clay courts at the USTA Pro Circuit $10,000 event in Amelia Island, Fla.

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 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 previous location at the Crandon Park Tennis Center in Key Biscayne. 16-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer and 2008 women’s singles Olympic gold medalist Elena Dementieva were the first 18s champions at this event on hard courts.

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.