Kenin leads strong field at 2015 Metropolia Orange Bowl

November 30, 2015 02:56 PM

By Sally Milano,

Defending champion and US Open girls’ singles finalist Sofia Kenin headlines a talented group of players from around the world who will compete next week in the 69th Metropolia Orange Bowl, the longest-running international junior tennis tournament in the world.

The Orange Bowl, which is set for Dec. 7-13 at the Frank Veltri Tennis Center in Plantation, Fla., will feature singles and doubles competition for boys and girls in 18-and-under and 16-and-under divisions. Boys’ and Girls’ 18s qualifying begins on Saturday, Dec. 5.

The tournament will be played on clay for the fifth straight year. The tournament was held on clay from 1947 to 1998, transitioning to hard courts before returning to clay in 2011.

The girls' 18s field is particularly impressive this year. In addition to Kenin (pictured above), players competing include junior Grand Slam champions from three of the year's four majors – US Open winner Dalma Galfi of Hungary, Wimbledon champion Sofya Zhuk of Russia and Australian Open titlist Tereza Mihalikova of Slovakia – as well as Australian Open finalist Katie Swan of Great Britain.

The entry list also includes top American juniors Ingrid Neel, a girls' 18s finalist last year, Top 10 world-ranked junior Usue Arconada, 2015 Wimbledon quarterfinalist Michaela Gordon, 2014 US Open semifinalist Caroline Dolehide, 2014 USTA Girls’ 16s National Champion Kayla Day and Claire Liu, the youngest player in the Top 600 of the WTA rankings.

The boys’ 18s field features talented international prospects such as 2015 US Open doubles champion Felix Auger-Aliassime of Canada, 2014 Orange Bowl Boys’ 18s finalist Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece and Casper Ruud of Norway.

Top college-bound American boys, including TCU recruit Alex Rybakov and Georgia commitment Nathan Ponwith, join the next wave of U.S. prospects in this year’s field, led by 2014 Orange Bowl boys’ 16s champion Sam Riffice.

The Orange Bowl was founded by Eddie Herr in 1947 and quickly became one of the premier international junior events in the world. Players from more than 50 countries have competed in the tournament, and champions have emerged from 28 different nations.

Past winners of the Orange Bowl 18-and-under singles titles include: Chris Evert (1969-70), Bjorn Borg (1972), John McEnroe (1976), Ivan Lendl (1977), Gabriela Sabatini (1984), Mary Joe Fernandez (1985), Jim Courier (1987) and Anna Kournikova (1995). Roger Federer (1998), Elena Dementieva (1998), Andy Roddick (1999), Vera Zvonareva (2000, 2001), Marcos Baghdatis (2003) and Caroline Wozniacki (2005) all won the event on hard courts.

For more information on the 2015 Orange Bowl, visit