| By New York Tennis Magazine Staff

The USTA has announced that Noah Rubin of Rockville Centre, N.Y. will lead the American field of juniors at the 66th Orange Bowl International Tennis Championships, beginning Dec. 3 at the Frank Veltri Tennis Center in Plantation, Fla. Rubin won the title at the Pan American ITF Championships and competed on the U.S. Junior Davis Cup team in Spain this fall. The Orange Bowl is the longest-running and largest junior tennis tournament in the world, and be played on clay, the surface on which it was played from 1947-1998, for the second straight year. The Orange Bowl features singles and doubles competition for boys and girls in 18-and-under and 16-and-under divisions. Eleven of the world’s top 20 girls and four of the world’s top 20 boys are on this year’s 18-and-under acceptance lists.

Also included on the boys side of the draw are Americans Mackenzie McDonald (Berkeley, Calif.), the 2012 Easter Bowl champion and Australian Open junior semifinalist, and Spencer Papa (Edmond, Okla.), who has captured titles on clay in 2012 at the Banana Bowl in Brazil and Copa Milo in Chile. The Boys’ 18s field also includes number three Gianluigi Quinzi of Italy, a 2012 Wimbledon junior semifinalist, as well as Frederico Ferreira Silva of Portugal, a 2012 European Junior Championship finalist, and Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka, a 2012 U.S. Open junior semifinalist.

"The Orange Bowl is one of the world's marquee junior tournaments, and we're once again excited to see many of the best junior tennis players in the world compete against one another right here in the United States," said tournament director Lew Brewer, the USTA Player Development Director, Junior Competition.

Headlining the girls’ 18s field is the 16-year old Taylor Townsend of Stockbridge, Ga., who in 2012 won the Australian Open junior singles title, junior doubles titles at the Australian Open, Wimbledon and the U.S. Open and led the United States to the Junior Fed Cup championship. Also competing are number three Katerina Siniakova of the Czech Republic, number six Francoise Abanda of Canada, the 2012 Pan American champion and Wimbledon junior semifinalist, and number eight Elizaveta Kulichkova of Russia.

The American contingent also includes 2011 Orange Bowl semifinalist Sachia Vickery (Hollywood, Fla.), 2012 International Spring Championship finalist Chalena Scholl (Pompano Beach, Fla.) and 2012 International Spring Championship winner Allie Kiick (Plantation, Fla.), the daughter of former Miami Dolphins running back Jim Kiick.

The qualifying draw begins Friday, Nov. 30. The Orange Bowl returned to clay in 2011 for the first time since 1998, when it 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.

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 26 different nations. A number of Orange Bowl champions have used the occasion to announce plans to turn professional.

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). Roger Federer (1998), Elena Dementieva (1998), Andy Roddick (1999), Vera Zvonareva (2000, 2001), Marcos Baghdatis (2003) and Nicole Vaidisova (2003) all won the event on hard courts.