photo credit:Squeaky Knees
In this ITF Junior Tennis Tour post we will take a closer look at the “Grade A” category tournaments for the girl’s and boy’s international junior tennis tours. ITF stands for International Tennis Federation. The junior tennis tour is called the ITF Junior Tour and has only one age group, which is 18 years and under.
The ITF Junior tournaments have 6 main categories of tournaments from Grade A events, which offer the most ranking points, through to Grade 5 events, which offer the least ranking points. There are 9 Grade A tournaments each year and they are the most important singles events that an ITF junior player can play. Their importance is in terms of earning a higher number of ranking points, testing themselves against the world’s best junior players and bridging the gap between ITF Junior tennis and the women’s and men’s professional tennis.
The 4 most prestigious ITF Junior tournaments are the Junior Grand Slam events, which are held in the final week of the women’s and men’s Grand Slams. The Junior Grand Slams are officially known as: the Australian Open Junior Championships, the Roland Garros Junior Championships, the Junior Championships Wimbledon and the US Open Junior Tennis Championships.
The other 5 Grade A tournaments on the ITF Junior Tour are: the Casablanca Cup in Tlalnepantla (Mexico), the Gerdau Cup in Porto Alegre (Brazil), the Italian Open in Milan (Italy), the Osaka Mayors Cup in Osaka (Japan) and the Orange Bowl in Florida (USA). The winner of a Junior Grand Slam singles title earns a bonus of 250 ITF Junior ranking points, which means he or she will earn 500 ranking points.
The ITF Junior ranking points for Grade A singles tournaments for both girls and boys are allocated to the players like this:
- The winner earns 250 ITF Junior ranking points;
- The runner-up earns 180 points;
- The two semi finalists earn 120 points;
- The four quarter finalists earn 80 points;
- The 8 players who lose in the round of 16 earn 50 points; and
- The 16 players who lose in the 2nd round earn 30 points.
The players who lose in the 1st round DO NOT receive any ITF Junior ranking points. No points are awarded to a player until he/she has won a round. Progressing through the draw due to receiving or walkover in the 1st DOES NOT count as winning a round, so no ranking points would be awarded. Progressing through to the next round when your opponent retires after beginning the match will count as winning so you will be awarded points.
The players, who qualify for the main draw and then lose in the 1st round, are awarded 25 ITF Junior ranking points. The players, who win through to the final round of the junior qualifying singles event and then lose in The Qualifying Round, receive 20 ITF junior ranking points. There is one more way of earning points in Grade A ITF Junior tournaments. IF any player wins 3 Grade A singles titles within a 12 month time frame, then they are awarded an further 250 bonus points as a reward for that achievement.
Pictured above is former Junior Wimbledon singles champion Roger Federer positioning the ball and getting himself prepared to serve. In 1998 Federer won Junior Wimbledon, was a runner-up at the US Open Junior Championships, made the semi finals at the Junior Australian Open and lost in the 1st round of the Roland Garros Juniors. Federer ended 1998 as the World No.1 ranked junior boy on the ITF Junior Tour.
Only 4 male players have won the Junior Wimbledon singles title and then gone on to win the Men’s Singles title at Wimbledon in the Open era, they are Bjorn Borg, Stefan Edberg, Pat Cash and of course, Roger Federer. Only 2 female players have achieved this feat. Martina Hingis won Junior Wimbledon in 1994 and the Senior title in 1997. Amelie Mauresmo won Junior Wimbledon in 1996 and the Senior title in 2006.
More ITF Junior Tour information will be covered in future posts on this tennis website. If YOU would like to know something about the ITF Juniors you can ask your questions by making a comment below.
Click these links for further ITF Junior Tennis Tour posts: Understanding the ITF Junior Tour #1, Understanding ITF Junior Tour Rankings #1, Tennis in Hong Kong: ITF Junior Event and Hong Kong ITF Junior Tennis Results.