By Sally Milano, USTA.com
Sofia Kenin, the second-youngest player in the Top 30 of the ITF World Junior Rankings, and 2014 Easter Bowl finalist Nathan Ponwith are among the top young Americans named to represent the United States in Junior Davis Cup and Junior Fed Cup by BNP Paribas (16-and-under) and the boys’ and girls’ World Junior Tennis competition (14-and-under) North/Central American and Caribbean Final. The events take place May 8-10 in Montreal.
This round of the premier world team competitions for juniors serves as regional qualifying for the World Finals. The Junior Davis Cup and Junior Fed Cup Finals will be held Sept. 23-28 in San Luis Potosi, Mexico. The World Junior Tennis Finals will be played Aug. 4-9 in Prostejov, Czech Republic.
Ponwith, 16, of Scottsdale, Ariz., will lead the Junior Davis Cup team, which also includes William Blumberg, 16, of Greenwich, Conn., and John McNally, 15, of Cincinnati. USTA National Coach Erik Kortland will serve as the team's coach.
Joining Kenin, 15, from Pembroke Pines, Fla., on the Junior Fed Cup team are 15-year-olds Usue Arconada of College Park, Md., and Raveena Kingsley of Parkton, Md. USTA Lead National Coach Kathy Rinaldi will coach the girls in the competition.
In World Junior Tennis play, the boys' team is comprised of Andrew Fenty, 14, from Washington, D.C.; Keenan Mayo, 14, from Roseville, Calif.; and Steven Sun, 13, from Glen Cove, N.Y. The girls' team consists of Elysia Bolton, 14, from Lake Forest, Ill.; Rachel Lim, 14, of Briarcliff Manor, N.Y.; and Claire Liu, 13, from Thousand Oaks, Calif. USTA National Coach Jay Devashetty will coach the boys' team, while USTA National Coach Jamea Jackson will coach the girls.
All three Junior Fed Cup team members are in the Top 70 of the world junior rankings, with Kenin at No. 29, Arconada at No. 35 and Kingsley at No. 62. Liu, meanwhile, returns to World Junior Tennis, where she helped the U.S. win its sixth girls’ title in the event last year.
On the boys’ side, Ponwith took boys' world No. 2 Francis Tiafoe to three sets in the Easter Bowl boys’ 18s title match earlier this month. Blumberg was a quarterfinalist there, while McNally swept the 16s singles titles at the Easter Bowl and USTA International Spring Championships.
Overall, the U.S. has won six World Junior Tennis girl’s titles (1992, 2007-10, 2013), four World Junior Tennis boys’ titles (2002-03, 2008, 2012), two Junior Davis Cup titles (1999, 2008) and two Junior Fed cup titles (2008, 2012).
Former U.S. junior international team members include Jim Courier, Andy Roddick, James Blake, Lindsay Davenport and Sloane Stephens. Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic also represented their countries in junior international team competition.