Gauff, Bernard headline U.S. juniors competing in World Junior Tennis Finals

August 1, 2017 02:21 PM
Alex Bernard will represent the U.S. in the World Junior Tennis competition.

By Sally Milano

Six of America’s top 14-and-under juniors, including Cori ‘CoCo’ Gauff and Alexander Bernard, are heading to Europe to represent the U.S. in the prestigious World Junior Tennis Finals.

The event is the world’s premier 14-and-under team competition and will be held Aug. 7-12 in Prostejov, Czech Republic.

Each three-player team will compete with 15 other nations from around the world, first in round-robin matches, then in a knockout bracket. More information can be found here.

Representing the U.S. on the girls' team are Gauff, a 13-year-old from Delray Beach, Fla.; Charlotte Owensby, 14, from Boca Raton, Fla.; and Gabriella Price, also 14, and from Boca Raton.

The U.S. boys' team includes 13-year-old Bernard, of Bonita Springs, Fla.; Martin Damm, 13, of Bradenton, Fla.; and Toby Kodat, 14, also from Bradenton.

USTA National Coaches Maureen Diaz and Jon Glover will travel with and coach the girls' and boys' teams, respectively.

Gauff, who was the subject of an profile earlier this year, recently advanced to the singles and doubles semifinals at the USTA Girls’ 18s National Clay Court Championships. Price earned comparisons from renowned coach Rick Macci to past champions he has coached, including the Williams sisters. And Owensby won the Girls’ 14s singles title at the prestigious Easter Bowl junior tournament in March and partnered with Gauff to win the doubles title at the 14-and-under Nike Junior International Teen Tennis tournament in Bolton, England, in January.

Bernard, the No. 3-ranked player in the USTA Boys’ 14s national standings, won the Boys’ 14s singles title at the Easter Bowl in March. Kodat was the boys’ singles champion at Nike Teen Tennis, defeating Damm in an all-American final. And Kodat is rated by as its No. 2 rising freshman in the country, while Bernard and Damm are rated Nos. 1 and 2, respectively, in the Class of 2022.

The U.S. girls finished in second place at last year’s World Junior Tennis Finals, while the boys came in third. Overall, the U.S. has won six World Junior Tennis girls’ titles (1992, 2007-10, 2013) and four World Junior Tennis boys’ titles (2002-03, 2008, 2012).

Former U.S. junior international team members include Jim Courier, Andy Roddick, James Blake, Lindsay Davenport and Sloane Stephens. Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic also have represented their respective countries in junior international team competition.