World’s top tennis juniors return to Bolton Arena after a 3-year absence
Last week saw some of the best junior tennis players competing at Bolton Arena. Players were competing in the grade 1 Tennis Europe’s Junior International. After a 3-year absence, it was fantastic to welcome back players from America, Australia, Canada and all around Europe.
The event, which is open to Juniors aged 14 and under is steeped in history and regularly attracts stars of the future. This year was the 17th year Bolton hosted the event.
Since it began as Teen Tennis in 1995, the event has attracted a strong field of rising stars from across the globe. Some previous players have gone on to reach the world’s top 10 including Eugenie Bouchard, Caroline Wozniacki, Justine Henin, Jelena Ostapenko, Kim Clijsters, Sloane Stephens, Sir Andy Murray, Marcos Baghdatis, Lucas Pouille and Tomas Berdych.
GB player Emma Raducanu, who won the US Open in 2021, competed in 2015, unfortunately.
Emma lost her first-round match.
Other breakout star Cori Gauff beat compatriot Alexandra Yepifanova to capture the 2017 title aged just 12 and current world number 21, Amanda Anisimova, was runner-up in 2015.
British number two Kyle Edmund reached the last 16 of the boy’s competition back in 2009, while Canada’s Felix Auger Aliassime was a semi-finalist in both the singles and doubles in 2014 and current world number 24, Alex Di Minaur, reached the quarter-finals in 2013.
Richard Joyner, LTA Tournament Director, commented: “It is great to be back after a 3-year beak due to Covid. It’s been a great opportunity to see the future stars of world tennis. The number of players who have played in this tournament and gone on to reach the higher echelons of the professional game is seriously impressive. It’s also a great opportunity for players from the north-west, including some who train at the Bolton Arena, to compete against some of the world’s best players in their age group.”
Neil Hutchinson, Managing Director of Bolton Arena, said: “We’re delighted to be hosting this prestigious event at Bolton Arena again in 2023. The recent rapid progress of players such as Cori Gauff and Bianca Andreescu onto the major world stage reflects the high calibre of junior players from around the world who have played here with us at Bolton Arena in recent years. It has also been an opportunity for our homegrown academy players to play in such a prestigious event. Well done to Daisy Wooton for qualifying and winning and round in consolation and doubles and Annabel Wong for also winning a round in consolation and doubles. Great experience for both girls.