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Bellis, Rublev top seeds in US Open Junior Championships

15 years old.18 years since we have seen a player this age win a match at the US Open.ONE truly inspiring story.CiCi Bellis…welcome to the #StoryoftheOPEN
By McCarton Ackerman
Sunday, August 31, 2014

US Open first-week darling Catherine Bellis and French Open boys’ singles champion Andrey Rublev of Russia are the top seeds in the 2014 US Open Junior Championships, which includes 23 of the world’s Top 25 boys and 21 of the world’s Top 25 girls.

The 2014 US Open Junior Championships will be played Aug. 31 through Sept. 7 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y.

The 15-year-old American Bellis, better known as CiCi, made headlines after defeating Australian Open finalist and No. 12 seed Dominika Cibulkova in the women’s singles draw. She is now looking to win her first junior Grand Slam title. She won the prestigious Easter Bowl and International Spring Championships earlier this year and went on a 30-1 tear in junior competition at the start of the year.

Wimbledon girls’ singles champion Jelena Ostapenko is the No. 2 seed. The 17-year-old has won four ITF Pro Circuit singles titles in the last 12 months. Iryna Shymanovich, 17, is the No. 3 seed. The Belarussian has won three ITF Pro Circuit singles titles in the last year and was a silver medalist earlier this month in the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China.

American Tornado Alicia Black, 16, is the No. 4 seed. She reached the US Open girls' final last year as an unseeded wild card and has since won two $10,000 events on the USTA Pro Circuit. She competed last week in the US Open qualifying draw, where she reached the second round.

In the boys’ singles draw, 16-year-old Rublev has won three titles this summer on the ITF and USTA Pro Circuits. He also reached the boys’ doubles final at Wimbledon this year with American Stefan Kozlov.

Orlando Luz, 16, is the No. 2 seed. He won a silver medal in singles and gold medal in doubles earlier this month at the Youth Olympic Games and captured the boys’ doubles title at Wimbledon.

They will be joined in the tournament by several top American players, including No. 3 seed Jared Donaldson, a 17-year-old who won three events this summer on the ITF and USTA Pro Circuits, in addition to qualifying for the ATP event in Washington, D.C., and No. 4 seed Kozlov, a 16-year-old who reached the junior singles final at both the Australian Open and Wimbledon this year.

Kozlov competed this year in the US Open men's qualifying draw, men's doubles draw and mixed doubles draw. He won his opening round in the qualifying draw and is still alive in mixed doubles with fellow American Christina McHale. Donaldson lost in the first round of the US Open men's singles draw this year, but won his opening round in men's doubles with fellow American Michael Russell. 

Another player to watch for in the draw is No. 6 seed Francis Tiafoe, who won the prestigious Orange Bowl last year. The American, 16, also competed this year in the US Open qualifying draw and men’s doubles draw and made his ATP main-draw debut earlier this summer in Washington, D.C.

Those competing this year will look to join the ranks of former US Open junior champions who have gone on to win Grand Slam titles, including Stefan Edberg (1983), Andy Roddick (2000), Andy Murray (2004), Jennifer Capriati (1989), Lindsay Davenport (1992), Marion Bartoli (2001) and Victoria Azarenka (2005).

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