UNITED STATES BECOMES FIRST NATION
TO WIN ALL FOUR INTERNATIONAL JUNIOR TEAM TITLES IN SAME YEAR
U.S. Also Swept Boys’ and Girls’ Titles at World Junior Tennis (14-and-under) in August
The United States Junior Davis Cup and Junior Fed Cup teams won the 2008 World Finals without dropping a single match in the international team competition for players age 16-and-under, in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, September 23-28, continuing it’s recent dominance in junior team events.
The titles come on the heels of the U.S. boys’ and girls’ victories at the World Junior Tennis Championships (14-and-under team championships) in August in Prostejov, Czech Republic, marking the first time that the same country has won all four titles in the same year.
The U.S. won its first ever Junior Fed Cup title and the Junior Davis Cup title for the first time
“This is a remarkable achievement by our junior players and coaches,” said Patrick McEnroe, General Manager, USTA Elite Player Development. “Our success in these junior team events against the world’s best competition is a good indication of where our players stand amongst their peers at this stage. Of course there is a lot of work to be done for these kids to become world-class professionals, but, if these results are any indication, the future is very promising.”
The U.S. teams qualified for Junior Davis Cup and Junior Fed Cup World Finals in May by winning the North/Central American & Caribbean Regional Championships. The boys’ and girls’ divisions each had 16 nations which were split into groups of four with round robin play used to determine the semifinalists.
The top-seeded U.S. Junior Fed Cup team dominated its round robin group, dropping only one set as it beat Colombia, Chinese Taipei and Serbia 3-0. They defeated fifth-seeded Hungary 3-0 in the semifinals and beat No. 4 seed Great Britain 2-0 in the final.
The U.S. girls’ went 14-0 in singles and doubles. Kristie Ahn (16, Upper Saddle River, N.J.), who went through qualifying to become the youngest player in the 2008 US Open main draw, led the team with a 6-0 overall record (4-0 at No. 1 singles), and saved a match point at 3-5 in the third set in the title-clinching match. Christina McHale (16, Englewood Cliffs, N.J.), currently No. 473 in the WTA rankings, went 7-0 (4-0 in singles) without dropping a single set, and 2008 US Open girls’ doubles finalist Sloane Stephens (15, Lauderhill, Fla.) went 5-0 (2-0 in singles) for the U.S. Stephens, the youngest member of the squad, led the U.S. to the 2007 World Junior Tennis title.
The third-seeded U.S. boys’ team also went 3-0 in round robin play, posting wins over Latvia, Chinese Taipei and Sweden to advance to the semifinals, where they defeated second-seeded India 3-0. In the final against fifth-seeded Argentina, the U.S. won both singles matches to win the title 2-0.
Individually, the boys on the U.S. Junior Davis Cup team posted a 14-0 record. The U.S. squad was led by Denis Kudla (16, Arlington, Va.), the singles and doubles runner-up at the 2008 USTA Boys’ 16s National Championships, who posted a 6-0 overall record (5-0 at No. 1 singles). Reigning USTA Boys’ 18s Clay Court Champion Evan King (16, Chicago) went 8-0 (5-0 in singles), and reigning USTA Boys’ 16s National Doubles Champion Raymond Sarmiento (16, Fontana, Calif.) went 4-0 in four doubles matches for the U.S.
Former Junior Davis and Junior Fed Cup team members who went on to represent the United States in Davis Cup and Fed Cup include Jennifer Capriati, Michael Chang, Jim Courier, Lindsay Davenport and Andy Roddick.