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The world’s top junior tennis players will be invited to the inaugural ITF Junior Masters tournament in Chengdu early next year.
The world’s top junior tennis players will be invited to the inaugural ITF Junior Masters tournament in Chengdu early next year. AFP

Junior Masters set for 2014

The International Tennis Federation will launch the ITF Junior Masters at the beginning of next year in Chengdu, China, following a three-year agreement with the Chinese Tennis Association and the Chengdu Sport Bureau.

This inaugural event is set for April 3-5, 2015, at the Sichuan International Tennis Centre, with the top eight boys and girls on the ITF Junior World Ranking at the end of 2014 invited to participate.

According to an ITF Press release, the Junior Masters will showcase the next generation of players and also help them in making a transition from junior tennis to the professional ranks through various opportunities including travel grants. Specific proposals and detailed information will be released by the ITF in due course.

The tournament will consist of two knock-out singles events, with each player guaranteed three matches to determine their finishing order.

The Sichuan International Tennis Centre, built in 2008 with 12 match and 20 practice courts, has already hosted a number of international events.

The ITF Junior Masters will be staged on three match courts, including a 6,000-capacity stadium court, with matches broadcast and streamed live over the three days.

The Junior Masters will brighten up the 2015 ITF calendar alongside premier team competitions like the 14-and-under World Juniors, and 16-and-under Junior Davis Cup and Junior Fed Cup by BNP Paribas.

“We are delighted that some of the world’s most talented young players will have the opportunity to compete in this new, exciting event,” said ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti.

“The ITF Junior Circuit has long been the main pathway to professional tennis for young players, but this event will provide an added incentive for players to secure a high year-end ranking. We are grateful for the support and the vision of the Chinese Tennis Association and Chengdu Sports Bureau to be able to launch this event in such an impressive setting,” he added.

Sun Jinfang, vice president of the Chinese Tennis Association, said: “Chengdu has a long tennis tradition, with a large tennis population and many activities in schools and universities, so it is an appropriate venue for this new event. We look forward to seeing some of the future stars of the game in action.”

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