Young, Lajola Head Strong Fields at 2005 Nats
Donald Young heads Kalamazoo?s 18 singles field, which includes five of the top 20 juniors in the ITF world rankings, all of whom are seeking the prestigious national title and the U.S. Open main draw wild card that accompanies it.
Young, 16, the world?s top-ranked junior, won the 2005 Australian Junior Open and the Copa Casablanca in Mexico, an ITF Grade A tournament. In addition, he was a finalist at the Orange Bowl and a semifinalist at Junior Wimbledon.
The lefthander, originally from Chicago and now living in suburban Atlanta, signed a professional contract at age 14. He made his debut in Kalamazoo in 2004, and as the seventh seed, made it to the fourth round before being upset by Clancy Shields, the 23rd seed.
Seeded second is Sam Querrey, last year?s 16s division champion at Kalamazoo. Querrey, 17, received a U.S. Junior Open wildcard in 2004 for capturing the 16s title and made the quarterfinals, falling to eventual champion Andrew Murray in three sets. Querrey won back-to-back events in his home state of California in April of this year, (supplanting Young as the Easter Bowl champion) and earlier this summer, he reached the quarterfinals at the French Junior Open and the round of 16 at Junior Wimbledon. He is currently ranked 14th in the world.
The third seed is seventeen-year-old Timothy Neilly, who defeated Young at the Orange Bowl and is ranked 11th. Tim Smyczek, also 17, was a Junior Wimbledon semifinalist and is seeded fourth. Fifth seed Jesse Levine, 17, winner of the Junior Wimbledon doubles title with partner Michael Shabaz, is the 15th ranked player in the world.
Also adding to the depth of the field is 6th seed Alex Clayton, who won the recently completed National Clay Courts in Rockville Maryland and was a 16s finalist last year in Kalamazoo. Mykyta Kryvonos and Denis Zivkovic, who have competed exclusively on the USTA?s pro circuit in 2005, complete the top eight.
Hawaii?s Dennis Lajola was named top seed in the 16s division. The sixteen-year-old is hoping to improve on his round of 16 showing last year in Kalamazoo. Second seeded Floridian Wil Spencer, 15, is also a veteran of the 2004 round of 16 at Kalamazoo, having lost to Querrey in three sets. Spencer played in the 18s division at the 2005 Clay Courts and finished in sixth place and earlier in the summer was a finalist at the International Grass Courts in Philadelphia.
Third seed Steve Forman and fourth seed Mateusz Kecki, both of California, also had strong showings at the Clay Courts. They reached the quarterfinals in the 18 singles division. Forman, 16, was a quarterfinalist in Kalamazoo last year. Kecki, 15, is making his debut in Kalamazoo.
Also expected to contend for the 16s title are fifth seed Nate Schnugg and sixth seed Dennis Nevolo, the USTA?s top-ranked 16 and under player. Will Guzick, the 2005 Easter Bowl 16s champion, is the seventh seed and Tyler Hochwalt, the 16s Clay Court titleist and winner of two rounds of ATP Legg-Mason qualifying last week, is the eighth seed.
For the complete list of seeded players, click here
Source: Colette Lewis (Tournament Office)