World’s Leading Juniors Heading to Florida
Nov 21, 2023
More than 2,000 players from throughout the world, including several destined for excellence on the pro circuit, will travel to Florida in November and December for four prestigious tournaments. Here’s a preview of each event in the order they will be played.
EDDIE HERR INTERNATIONAL
The IMG Academy in Bradenton will be host to more than 2,000 players from 90 countries from November 21 to December 3 in the 12s through 18s age divisions. The tournament is named in honor of the late Eddie Herr, who founded the Orange Bowl International at Flamingo Park on Miami Beach, along with the Sunshine Cup for boys and Continental Players Cup for girls, both patterned after the Davis Cup for men and Fed Cup (now Billie Jean King Cup) for women.
Past winners of the Eddie Herr include Maria Sharapova, Andy Roddick, Jelena Jankovic, Michael Mmoh and Xavier Malisse.
MAUREEN CONNOLLY BRINKER "LITTLE MO" INTERNATIONALS
More than 650 players from 60-plus countries and territories will participate in the tournament for ages 8 to 16 in singles, doubles and mixed doubles. Matches will be played at eight locations in Palm Beach County. The opening ceremonies, including an Olympic-style parade of nations, will be held at 4 p.m. on December 1 at the Palm Beach Gardens Tennis Center. Bob Bryan will be a guest speaker this year.
The tournament is the third leg of the “Little Mo Grand Slam” that included events at Colorado Springs, Colorado, and West Orange, New Jersey. Last year Kareena Cross became the 9th player to win the Slam and took home the tallest trophy (6 feet) in junior tennis.
The tournament is looking for volunteers to help with the event. Contact: email@example.com.
ORANGE BOWL INTERNATIONAL
The 77th Orange Bowl International, for boys and girls in the 18s and 16s divisions, will be held December 1 to 10 at the Veltri Tennis Center at Central Park in Plantation, west of Fort Lauderdale.. Qualifying for the 16s will be December 1-2 and for the 18s will be on the 2nd and 3rd. The main draw begins on December 3 for the 16s and December 4 for the 18s.
Last year for the first time the finals were dominated by Asian players. Japan’s Mayu Crossley, who trains at the Evert Tennis Academy in Boca Raton, won the girls’ 18’s, and South Korea’s Gerard Campana Lee won the boys’ 18’s. Naoya Honda of Japan won the boys’ 16’s and American Alexis Nguyen won the girls’ 16’s.
JUNIOR ORANGE BOWL
The 62nd Junior Orange Bowl for boys and girls in the 14’s and 12’s is scheduled for December 12 to 21 at three sites in Miami-Dade County: Crandon Park on Key Biscayne, and in Coral Gables at the Kerdyk Biltmore Tennis Center and Salvadore Park.
More than 800 players from 70 countries will compete. Past participants include Andre Agassi, Jimmy Connors, Mary Joe Fernandez (who won all the age groups in the Junior Orange Bowl and Orange Bowl International), Chris Evert, Steffi Graf, Justine Henin, Andy Roddick, Juan Martin Del Potro and Caroline Wozniacki.
This article also appears in the November/December 2023 issue of Florida Tennis Magazine. Be sure to subscribe for expanded coverage, exclusive interviews, and in-depth tennis news. Top Photo: Junior Orange Bowl.