28 Sep 2015

Getting ready for action is serious business

News Article

By Sandra Harwitt

Photo: Martin SidorjakThe 2015 Junior Davis Cup and Fed Cup captains

It’s going to be an exciting week in Madrid, Spain, for juniors participating in the 2015 Junior Davis Cup and Junior Fed Cup by BNP Paribas as the 16-and-under international team competition will open a window to what kind of places await them in the pros.

This year’s junior Fed Cup and Davis Cup Finals, featuring the 16 best countries in girls’ and 16 best countries in boys, is being played at the famed La Caja Magica. Known in English as the Magic Box, the venue hosts the prestigious Madrid Open, a clay court tournament which features the top players from the ATP and WTA each year in May.

For at least the next three years, this Spanish site will be the center of attention for junior tennis in late September.

The eight seeded teams competing in Junior Fed Cup this week are: Czech Republic, USA, Russia, Canada, Australia, Spain, Great Britain and Brazil. The other countries are: Argentina, Chinese Taipei, Colombia, Egypt, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, and New Zealand.

The eight seeded teams competing in Junior Davis Cup this week are: Canada, Australia, USA, Russia, Germany, Argentina, Czech Republic and Japan. The other teams are: Argentina, Brazil, Chinese Taipei, Colombia, Hong Kong, Poland, South Africa, Spain, and Sweden.

The nation with the most at stake is the USA, who are the defending champions in both the girls’ and boys’ competition. Last year the American squads scored big for the USA at the events’ previous venue in San Luis Potosi, Mexico.

As is always the case at this competition, Monday is the day to get ready and put the finishing touches on the event as it looks forward to a successful week ahead. The most important order of business on Monday’s non-play day is the Opening Ceremonies, where the players march in behind their flags, followed by the draw ceremony. Each draw is divided into four groups of three countries that compete in a round-robin format the first three days. From there, the tournament turns to a knock-out format, which by the end of the week will deliver the outcome of nations from first place to 16th place.

That said, the first stop on Monday is always the captain’s meeting, which is much more than a simple meet-and-greet. The 32 captains are responsible for life on-court and off-court for the three players on their team. This confirms that the captain has many authority figure roles they must fulfill - coach, mentor, father, mother, older brother or older sister, and friend.

In a surprise, the captains were addressed by a very special dignitary at the outset of the meeting. Spanish Tennis Hall of Famer Manuel Santana, a five-time Grand Slam champion with two Roland Garros, one Wimbledon and one US Open to his credit, welcomed the group to Madrid.

Also in attendance at the meeting was former top 10 player Alberto Berasategui of Spain, who serves as the tournament director of the Madrid Open.

The get together is a very essential component in providing the captains with the details needed to have an organized and smooth week ahead.

They’re told important facts in terms of the rules of play. Some of the information received was that each match is the best-of-three sets, that the girls can have two toilet breaks and the boys one, and there’s to be no electronic usage on the court during a match.

The format is also explained with an emphasis that each team will compete on five of the six days. The first  three-days feature round-robin competition with the No. 2 players from each team facing each other in the first match, followed by the two top players playing the second match of the day, with the final match being the doubles.

Captains are informed that it is mandatory for their team as well as themselves to attend Wednesday night’s educational forum where players are offered information valuable to preparing towards a pro career.

But have no fear as the week is not all a serious affair.

As the captain’s meeting revealed enjoyment is also a top priority. And to that end there’s a welcome party on Monday night, an official player party on Friday night, and a farewell party on Sunday night.  And, oh yes, even an official cocktail party for the captains on Tuesday night. 

The full draw is listed below:

Girls Group A

Czech Republic (1)
Marketa Vondrousova
Monika Kilnarova
Anna Slovakova
Captain: Patrik Navara

Destanee Aiava
Seone Mendez
Jaimee Fourlis
Captain: Rohan Fisher

Maria Lourdes Carle
Paula Baranano
Camila Moreno
Captain: Mailen Auroux

Isolde de Jong
Suzan Lamens
Merel Hoedt
Captain: Eddy Bank

Girls Group B

Canada (4)
Charlotte Robillard-Millette
Bianca Andreescu
Vanessa Wong
Captain: Ralph Platz

Great Britain
Katie Swan
Jodie Anna Burrage
Ali Collins
Captain: Lucie Ahl

Kimika Sakata
Ayumi Miyamoto
Mai Hontama
Captain: Yoshinori Nakayama

Emiliana Arango
Sofia Munera
Maria Osorio
Captain: Catalina Castano

Girls Group C

Russia (3)
Olesya Pervushina
Elena Rybakina
Evgeniya Levashova
Captain: Oxana Mishukova

Thaisa Pedretti
Nathalia Gasparin
Marcelle Cirino
Captain: Roland Santos

Chinese Taipei
Yang Lee
Fang Hsien Wu
Pei Hsuan Chen
Captain: Ming Mi Chen

Federica Bilardo
Tatiana Pieri
Monica Cappelletti
Captain: Silvia Farina

Girls Group D

USA (2)
Claire Liu
Michaela Gordon
Kayla Day
Captain: Adam Peterson

Eva Guerrero Alvarez
Noelia Bouzo Zanotti
Paula Arias Manjon
Captain: Antonio Capella Lopez

New Zealand
Nina Paripovich
Valentina Ivanov
Lauren Alter
Captain: Emma Hayman

Dalila Said
Laila Elnimr
Sara Ismail
Captain: Khaled Farouk

Boys Group A

Canada (1)
Felix Auger-Aliassime
Denis Shapovalov
Benjamin Sigouin
Captain: Oded Jacob

Czech Republic
Partik Rikl
Michael Vrbensky
Daniel Velek
Captain: Josef Cihak

Hong Kong, China
Ching Lam
Ming Chun Alan Sou
Ngai Long Cheung
Captain: Jin Jian Liu

Kacper Zuk
Konrad Fryze
Daniel Michalski
Captain: Piotr Zurawiecki

Boys Group B

Russia (4)
Artem Dubrivnyy
Alen Avidzba
Mikhail Sokolovsky
Captain: Artem Derepasko

Tomas Echeverry
Santiago Rodriguez Taverna
Camilo Ugo Carabelli
Captain: Martin Errecalde

Chinese Taipei
Yu Hsiou Hsu
Tsung Hao Huang
Hua Chen Yu
Captain: Shao Hung Yu

Karl Friberg
Jonas Eriksson Ziverts
Linus Bergevi
Captain: Pontus Norberg

Boys Group C

USA (3)
Sam Riffice
Vasil Kirkov
Patrick Kypson
Captain: Sylvain Guichard

Toru Horie
Yunosuke Tanaka
Yuta Shimizu
Captain: Ko Iwamoto

Gabriel Decamps
Gabriel Bugiga
Enzo Kohn
Captain: William Kyriakos

Alejandro Davidovich Fukina
Nikolas Sanchez-Izquierdo Vivar
Andres Fernandez Canovas
Captain: Juan Perez Herrando

Boys Group D

Australia (2)
Alex de Minaur
Alexei Popyrin
Blake Ellis
Captain: Ben Pyne

Nicola Kuhn
Marvin Moeller
Maximilian Todorov
Captain: Guido Fratzke

Sergio Hernandez
Alejandro Hoyos
Nicolas Mejia
Captain: Juan Felipe Mateus

South Africa
Richard Thongoana
Joshua Howard-Tripp
Albertus Kruger
Captain: Allan Karam