Katie Swan tops seedings at ITF Junior Masters

Katie Swan is the top seed in the ITF Junior Masters that gets under way at China’s Sichuan International Tennis Centre on Friday

British junior Katie Swan is the top seed in the ITF Junior Masters that gets under way at China’s Sichuan International Tennis Centre in Chengdu on Friday.

The Junior Masters is an international event that showcases the top eight male and female players based on their 18-and-under ITF junior world ranking in both singles and doubles at the end of the year.

In the three-day knock-out event, the 17-year-old Swan, who was runner-up in last year’s Junior Australian Open, has been drawn in her opener against the Czech Republic’s Miriam Kolodziejova, the 2015 Australian Open and Roland Garros junior doubles champion.

Swan commented to the ITF: “I actually have never practised with her or played her before so it should be interesting. I mean, everyone is so good in the tournament, every match is going to be tough, but I am really looking forward to it.”

Every player, who will each earn a minimum travel grant of $7,000, is guaranteed three matches to determine their final positions, with the boys’ and girls’ champions each awarded $15,000 of travel grants. All the competitors will also benefit from a mentoring programme designed to help them make the transition from junior tennis to the professional game.

Swan’s first junior titles came in 2014, when she won in both singles and doubles at the Copenhagen Cup. She reached a further three singles finals in 2014 at various grades, including the Grade 1 Canadian Open.

Swan went on to have an impressive 2015, suffering only one first-round loss all year on the junior circuit and finishing runner-up at the Junior Australian Open.

Also in 2015, Swan represented Great Britain at the Junior Fed Cup Finals, and in March, just before her 16th birthday, she achieved her first victory on the senior tour, coming through the qualifying draw to win the $10K ITF tournament in Sharm-el-Sheikh. She then won her second ITF title in Madrid, and along the way, she was given a wild card into her first Wimbledon qualifying draw, where she reached the second round.

This year, Swan had her first senior Fed Cup call-up—becoming the youngest British player in Fed Cup history. She won her opening two rubbers against South Africa and Georgia to help Great Britain advance to the promotional play-offs, where the team lost to Belgium.

The impressive Sichuan International Tennis Centre, which has 32 hard courts, is hosting the event for the second year as part of the ITF’s three-year agreement with the Chinese Tennis Association and the Chengdu Sport Bureau.

The Junior Masters will be staged on the Centre’s two show courts, including the 6,000-capacity Centre Court, with matches broadcast by Sichuan TV and streamed live over the three days of competition.

Women’s Singles Draw

(1) Katie Swan (GB) vs Miriam Kolodziejova (Czech Rep)
Charlotte Robillard-Millette (Canada) vs Tereza Mihalikova (Slovakia)
Sofia Kenin (USA) vs Kayla Day (USA)
Usue Arconada (USA) vs (2) Anna Blinkova (Russia)

Men’s Singles Draw

(1) Casper Ruud (Nor) vs William Blumberg (USA)
Orlando Luz (Bra) vs Miomir Kecmanovic (Serbia)
Marcelo Barrios Vera (Chile) vs Ly Hoang Nam (Vietnam)
Alvaro Lopez San Martin (Spain) vs (2) Hong Seong Chan (Korea)

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