Top world juniors head for Spain
Two of the top junior tennis players in Europe – Javier Marti and Carlos Boluda – could set the scene for a remarkable showdown at this year’s Nike Junior Tour International Masters to be played at the La Manga Club in Murcia, Spain.
Marti won the boys under-12 title in Pompadour two years ago and Boluda repeated the feat in Nice last year. This year the two Spaniards are both serving it up in the under-14 category and both have an outstanding chance of winning the title.
Boluda is the qualifying entrant from Spain while Marti has received a wild card into the tournament.
They are among a group of players who will be making a return trip to the NJT International Masters. Others include Marton Fucsovics from Hungary, Mara Nowak of Germany, Israelis Semion Branzburg and Liat Zimmerman, Britain’s Lucy Brown, Belgium’s Arthur De Greef and South African Japie de Klerk. All of them have contested the event as under-12 players and now come back in the under-14 draw.
The Nike Junior Tour is now in its 10th year, and to celebrate a decade of the world's premier tennis tournament for under-14 and under-12 boys and girls, this year's NJT International Masters is to be staged at one of the world's most celebrated resorts – the La Manga Club, Spain from October 30 to November 3.
This year 21 countries will be represented at the event – Argentina, Belgium, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Russia, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom and the USA. Turkey is the only newcomer to this year’s tournament. South Africa, who won the team title in Nice, France, last year, are back to defend their title.
Former world number one women’s tennis player Serena Williams has sent a message of congratulations to all the players who qualified for this year’s event. “This is Serena saying ‘hello’!
“I know you guys are out there trying your best and it’s important that you do.
“Also remember to enjoy what you're doing. I love tennis, and because I'm so passionate, I've been able to win a couple championships.
“You can be successful too, just remember to stay focused, stay committed, practice the right techniques, and enjoy yourself out there!”
This year’s NJT International Masters will be played on clay courts and on a “knock out” basis with a Consolation event being played for the first and second round Main Draw losers.
A team trophy will be awarded to the country whose players earn the most accumulated points from matches won in both the main draw and consolation events.