World No. 4 Fritz headlines field at ASICS Easter Bowl

April 6, 2015 11:13 AM

By Steve Pratt, special to

INDIAN WELLS, Calif. – The future of American tennis will once again be on display, as the iconic 48th annual ASICS Easter Bowl takes place from April 4-12 at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, site of the recently completed BNP Paribas Open.

Current world No. 4 Taylor Fritz is the top seed in the boys' 18s draw and leads a strong group of American boys competing at the tournament. Puerto Rico’s Usue Arconada, ranked No. 6 in the world, is the No. 1 seed in the girls' 18s division.

The 18s is an ITF Grade B1 and USTA Level 1 event. It is a closed event, meaning only players from the United States (Puerto Rico is a member of the USTA's Caribbean Section) are eligible to play. For the second year in a row, the tournament will include the nation’s top 12-and-under 14-and-under, 16-and-under and 18-and-under players. The 12s and 14s started play on Saturday, April 4, with the finals set for Wednesday, April 8. The 16s and 18s begin play on Monday, April 6, with the 16s finals on Friday, April 10, and the 18s finals on Sunday, April 12.

BNP Paribas Indian Wells fans may remember the 17-year-old Fritz’s emotional win in the first round of qualifying last month at the ATP event, where he beat former world Top 30 player Dudi Sela. Most recently, he reached the final at the international ITF Junior Masters.

“Taylor is definitely one to watch,” said tournament chairman Lornie Kuhle. “He’s got the size and the pedigree. He just needs some experience and some seasoning, and he has the potential to be a really good pro.”

Fritz, who resides in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., is the son of Guy Fritz, the former longtime head tennis coach at the College of the Desert in the 1990s and 2000s. His mother, Kathy May Fritz, was a former WTA Top 10 player who reached the quarterfinals at three Grand Slam tournaments – once at the US Open (1978) and twice at the French Open (1977, 1978).

Taylor is the nephew of longtime popular Coachella Valley teaching pro Harry Fritz and has spent much of his time training in the desert. He was recently selected in the first round of the Mylan World TeamTennis draft by his hometown San Diego Aviators.

Other players to watch in the boys’ 18s include world No. 17 William Blumberg, who is coming off a win last week at the USTA International Spring Championships, No. 38 Ulises Blanch and No. 48 Nathan Ponwith. Hall-of-Famer Tracy Austin’s son Brandon Holt will also play in the 18s, as will former 14s ASICS Easter Bowl champion Connor Hance and last year’s 16s winner John McNally.

Besides Arconada, girls' 18s International Spring Championships winner Sofia Kenin (No. 22), Raveena Kingsley (No. 28) and Michaela Gordon (No. 29) will be among the top-seeded players, as will last year’s finalist Katie Swan (No. 13), who was the runner-up at the junior Australian Open in January. Fourteen-year-old Claire Liu is coming off her first ITF Futures $10,000 tournament victory, which made her the first player born in the 2000s to win a pro title. In October, Kingsley left the Junior Tennis Champions Center in Maryland to train full time with former ATP pro and ASICS Easter Bowl sponsor Taylor Dent.

To keep up with all the ASICS Easter Bowl news, visit the website at, and check out the tournament on Facebook and Twitter.