Former world junior No. 1 Taylor Townsend will play in her first junior event of 2013 at the upcoming French Open Junior Championships, which take place June 2-8 in Paris.
The 17-year-old from Chicago finished 2012 as the No. 1-ranked junior in the world, becoming the first American girl in 30 years to hold that distinction. She is currently ranked No. 10 in the ITF World Junior Rankings, despite playing only professional tournaments so far in 2013. In her first WTA-level main-draw match, Townsend beat then-No. 57 Lucie Hradecka in the first round of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, Calif., in March.
Townsend has previously had great success in junior Grand Slam play. Last year, she won the Australian Open girls' singles title as well as girls' doubles championships at the Australian Open, Wimbledon and the US Open. In singles, she also won the Easter Bowl and reached the semifinals at the Orange Bowl and the girls' quarterfinals at the US Open.
Joining Townsend in the Roland Garros girls' draw are 17-year-old Victoria Duval of Delray Beach, Fla., currently ranked No. 285 in the WTA rankings; 16-year-old Christina Makarova of San Diego, ranked No. 11 in the ITF World Junior Rankings; 18-year-old Sachia Vickery of Hollywood, Fla., ranked No. 29; and 18-year-old Jamie Loeb of Ossining, N.Y., ranked No. 39. Sixteen-year-old Louisa Chirico of Harrison, N.Y., ranked 56th, will compete in the qualifying draw.
Townsend, Duval and Vickery each train at the USTA Training Center – Headquarters in Boca Raton, Fla., while Chirico trains at the USTA Training Center – East in Flushing, N.Y. In 2012, Duval won the USTA Girls’ 18s national title to earn a wild card into the US Open main draw, where she played Kim Clijsters in the first round.
Thai-Son Kwiatkowski, 18, from Charlotte, N.C., who is currently the top-ranked American boy at No. 16 in the world, leads the Americans accepted to play in the boys’ main draw. No. 19 Stefan Kozlov, 15, from Pembroke Pines, Fla.; No. 23 Noah Rubin, 17, from Rockville Centre, N.Y.; No. 38 Luca Corinteli, 17, from Alexandria, Va.; and No. 40 Spencer Papa, 17, from Edmond, Okla., will also compete. No. 49 Martin Redlicki, 17, from Hawthorn Woods, Ill., will play in the qualifying tournament.
Kozlov is the youngest player in the world's Top 20 and the second-youngest player set to compete in the Roland Garros boys’ draw. Rubin, who has been ranked as high as No. 6 in the world junior rankings, reached the quarterfinals at last year’s junior French Open, and Papa advanced to the third round in 2012.
Kozlov and Papa currently train at the USTA Training Center – Headquarters in Boca Raton. Kwiatkowski and Redlicki previously trained there – Kwiatkowski for three years – and Corinteli trains at the Junior tennis Champions Center in College Park, Md., a USTA Certified Regional Training Center.