| By New York Tennis Magazine Staff

Taylor Townsend, a 16-year-old from Stockbridge, Ga., who trains full-time at the USTA Training Center Headquarters in Boca Raton, Fla., became the top-ranked junior in the ITF World Junior Rankings (for players 18 and younger) on Monday, making her the first American girl to earn the number one ranking since the ITF combined singles and doubles rankings in 2004. Donald Young was the last American to the top spot in the boys’ rankings in 2005. Coincidentally, Young’s parents were Townsend’s first tennis coaches.

In January, Townsend swept the girls’ singles and doubles titles at the Australian Open, becoming the first American to sweep the junior singles and doubles titles at a Grand Slam event since Lindsay Davenport at the 1992 U.S. Open. In addition, Townsend captured the prestigious 2012 Easter Bowl title earlier this month in Rancho Mirage, Calif., where she also reached the doubles final, and she owns a 19-2 singles record in ITF World Junior Competition in 2012.

Townsend is representing the United States this week at the Junior Fed Cup by BNP Paribas North/Central American and Caribbean Championships, held in Merida, Mexico, April 26-28. The team is coached by USTA Lead National Coach Kathy Rinaldi, who works with Taylor in Boca Raton.