Junior News

IOSC: Yepifanova, Kuzuhara are top seeds in San Diego; Hance, Kang among those in action Monday

In the world of junior competitive tennis, all eyes turn to San Diego this week as USTA SoCal welcomes some of the world’s top young players to the International Open of Southern California. This Level 1 ITF event begins Monday at Barnes Tennis Center with Boys/Girls 18s singles and doubles action.

Top seeds include Stanford-bound Alexandra Yepifanova, who competed last year at the French Open Junior Championships, and blue chip recruit Bruno Kuzuhara, both of Florida. Kuzuhara has reached the final in three of his last four tournaments, including a win at the Level 1 Asincion Bowl in Paraguay last month.

Southern California will cheer its own hometown favorites this week, as a vast array of homegrown talent competes for the prestigious championship. ITF Las Vegas finalist Kimmie Hance of Torrance is among those headlining the Girls’ main draw. Hance meets Charlotte Owensby on Monday’s slate. Reigning Junior Sectionals champion Rebecca Lynn (Newport Beach) is the #11 seed and will face a qualifier in her second round match after enjoying a first round bye. Leydon Games of Irvine will open her pursuit of an IOSC title against Carlsbad wild card Katie Codd, while Maya Pitts (Los Angeles), Emma Sun (Newbury Park), Anne Christine Lutkemeyer (Irvine), Madeleine Jessup (Rolling Hills), and Isabella Chhiv (Irvine) will also compete in the draw.  

On the Boys’ side, Aidan Mayo, the Boys #5 seed from Roseville, leads an impressive #TeamSoCal contingent that includes wild card entrants Rohan Murali (San Diego), Kyle Kang (Fullerton), and Alex Michelsen (Aliso Viejo). Boys’ qualifiers include SoCal favorite Sebastian Gorzny and Masato Perera (Santa Barbara), who both advanced from Sunday’s preliminary draw.

Play begins Monday morning, followed by the start of doubles competition later in the day. Doubles brackets will be unveiled shortly prior to the first round.

The International Open of Southern California is a USTASoCal Signature Series event.