PARIS, FRANCE: Australian Open Champion Nick Kyrgios (AUS) will be looking to claim his second grand slam of 2013 when the Roland Garros Junior French Championships get underway in Paris on Sunday. Kyrgios heads an excellent field in the boys’ singles, with 19 of the world’s top 20 competing.
Kyrgios has been concentrating on the Men’s Futures circuit since his win in Melbourne, winning one event and reaching the final of another, in addition to the Sydney Challenger title he won in February. Kyrgios was also the recipient of a Wild Card into the mens singles event this week, reaching the second round by defeating Radek Stepanek (CZE) in straight sets.
Other challengers include world Number 2 Gianluigi Quinzi (ITA) who has had an impressive 2013 so far, capturing the Grade A Copa Gerdau clay court title in Brazil and reaching the final of 3 Men’s Futures tournaments.
Johan Sebastien Tatlot will be looking to become the first French boy to win the singles title since Gael Monfils in 2004 and has shown impressive form on clay, including defeating Quinzi for the Grade 1 Banana Bowl title in Brazil in March.
Alexander Zverev (GER) is the form challenger after he became the youngest ever winner of the Grade A Trofeo Bonfiglio clay court title earlier this month. Other players who have posted strong performances in their recent junior circuit events include Laslo Djere (CRO) and International 18&U ITF/GSDF Team to Europe member Wayne Montgomery (RSA).
Top boys seed Nick Kyrgios of Australia picked up a win in the main draw of the men's draw over Radek Stepanek, after he received Australia's reciprocal wild card at the last minute, so he is comfortable and acclimated with the Roland Garros courts. That can't be said for Gianluigi Quinzi of Italy, the No. 6 seed, who won his first ITF Men's Circuit title today in Morocco after reaching two finals and a semifinal earlier this year. Quinzi, seeded fifth, downed No. 3 seed Lamine Ouahab of Algeria 7-6(2), 1-6, 6-4 in today's final.
In addition to Kyrgios and Quinzi, several boys have proven themselves on the ITF Men's Circuit, including Great Britain's Kyle Edmund, who received entry and the No. 5 seeding based on his ATP ranking of 443, and unseeded Hyeon Chung of Korea, who reached the final of a $15,000 Futures in Korea last month. Chile's Christian Garin, the reigning Eddie Herr champion with an ATP ranking of 541, would have been seeded had Edmund not bumped him out of the top 16. Croatia's Borna Coric, the No. 8 seed, and France's Enzo Couacaud, who needed a wild card to get into this exceptionally strong field, also have picked up Futures titles this year.
One match I would definitely be watching if I were in Paris is the one between No. 9 seed Maxime Hamou of France and qualifier Albert Alcaraz Ivorra of Spain. Alcaraz Ivorra has concentrated on Futures this year, and this is the first junior tournament of 2013. His ATP ranking at the time of acceptances was outside the 550 mark that would have gotten him into the main draw without playing qualifying, but now at 551, he lost only nine games in his two qualifying matches, so he's a dangerous unseeded player.