Tennis Europe has revealed the players due to compete at the 21 & Under Invitational, which will be played alongside the prestigious ATP 500 Hamburg European Open in Germany from 25-28 July.
The unique event has attracted some of Europe’s most promising players aged 19-21 and aims to provide big match experience, star treatment and the chance to win financial grants to assist with the expenses incurred by young travelling pros transitioning from the ITF World Tennis Tour to the ATP and WTA circuits.
Players aged from 19-21 were selected based on performances at Junior Grand Slams and their ITF World Tennis Tour ranking. Europe's top 18 & Under players are in action at the European Junior Championships in Klosters (SUI) the same week.
Tennis Europe President Vladimir Dmitriev commented, “Tennis Europe is proud to be involved with this event. The Tennis Europe Junior Tour provides the world’s leading platform for players aged 12, 14 and 16 & Under, but our commitment to its players does not end there. This is a great opportunity to continue supporting talented players as they transition through the junior circuits to a professional tennis career.”
As revealed recently, the top seeds will be Austrian Davis Cup player Jurij Rodionov (ATP #271), already a winner on the ATP Challenger Tour, and Switzerland’s Ylena In-Albon (WTA #187), winner of a $60,000 ITF World Tennis Tour event in Kyoto earlier this year.
Hungary provides the second and third men’s seeds, with former Tennis Europe Junior Masters champion Mate Valkusz (ATP #319) and 2017 Australian Open and European Junior Champion Zsombor Piros (ATP #366) set to compete.
Javier Barranco Cosano is the next confirmation. Currently ranked #8 on the ITF World Tennis Tour, the in-form Spaniard reached his third final of the season just last week. German ace Louis Wessels, a winner of three ITF titles in 2018, Daniel Michalski of Poland and Spain’s Carlos Lopez Montagud round off the player list.
In-Albon will be joined in the women’s draw by compatriot Leonie Kung, the 2018 Junior Wimbledon runner-up and WTA #405. Mirjam Bjorklund of Sweden will be looking to further enhance her excellent season, having already won four professional titles and climbed to #320. Also in form are the other confirmed players; Romania’s Ilona Ghioroaie, who racked up a 20 match win streak earlier in the season; Lara Salden (BEL), who currently holds four professional titles, and Nika Radisic (SLO), fresh from winning her first pro title in Antalya in April. Georgia Craciun (ROU) completes the line-up, with one wild card spot in each draw still to be announced by the organisers.
Hosted by the ATP Hamburg European Open organisers in collaboration with Tennis Europe and the German Tennis Federation, the round robin event offers a total pool of €50,000 to the sixteen players – eight men and eight women – that will take part.
The tournament will feature ‘Best of Five’ set matches played with a reduced format; sets will be played as ‘First to Four’ games with a tie-break at 3-All. There will be ‘No-Ad’ scoring (receiver decides), the ‘No Let’ rule applies, and players will be able to communicate with their coaches during the match.
Event organiser for the German Tennis Federation Mirco Westphal remarked; “This 21 & Under Invitational is not just a continuation of the traditional junior event that was held in Hamburg in the last few years. It is also the logical next step since it allows its participants, who are in the crucial phase of their young careers, to grow from the experience of playing and practising alongside so many skilled tennis professionals. A big thank you to Sandra Reichel, whose commitment was the deciding factor in making this event happen.”
Tournament Director Sandra Reichel said; “The 21 & Under Invitational with the stars of tomorrow is a passion project for us. The acceptance list is very promising, and I am curious to see how the ‘next gen’ format will be received by the players and the audience. In addition, it was very important to me to also bring the 21 & Under ladies to Hamburg.”
Acceptance List - Women
- Ylena In-Albon (SUI)
- Mirjam Bjorklund (SWE)
- Leonie Kung (SUI)
- Lara Salden (BEL)
- Ilona Ghioroaie (ROU)
- Nika Radisic (SLO)
- Georgia Craciun (ROU)
- wild card (TBC)
Acceptance List – Men
- Jurij Rodionov (AUT)
- Mate Valkusz (HUN)
- Zsombor Piros (HUN)
- Javier Barranco Cosano (ESP)
- Louis Wessels (GER)
- Daniel Michalski (POL)
- Carlos Lopez Montagud (ESP)
- wild card (TBC)