US SQUASH

Douglas and Watanabe Lead U.S. Junior Open Draws

The 2015 U.S. Junior Open champions and finalists.

The 2015 U.S. Junior Open champions and finalists.

The largest individual junior squash tournament in the world—the U.S. Junior Open Squash Championships—returns to Connecticut this weekend with U.S. junior champion Andrew Douglas and defending girls’ U19 champion Satomi Watanabe leading the top draws.

1,040 entrants have narrowed down to 889 players across U11, U13, U15, U17 and U19 age groups. More than one-third of the players are international, representing thirty-four countries and six continents with domestic players representing twenty-two states.  The four-day tournament, December 17-20, will be contested on forty-three courts at Yale University, Trinity College, Wesleyan University and Choate Rosemary Hall.

Three divisions, BU15, BU17 and BU19, are 128-player draws. The BU17 division has 65 international players, fifty-one percent, the largest ratio of any draw in the tournament.

U.S. junior champion Andrew Douglas leads the seeding in the boys’ U19 division as he looks to win his first U.S Junior Open. After reaching the quarterfinals in 2015, the eighteen-year-old had a break out year, capturing his first junior national title, winning the Pan American Junior Championship individual gold, and reaching the quarterfinals of his first U.S. Pro Series event as a qualifier last week. The final is seeded to be a rematch of the junior nationals final against two seed and 2015 semifinalist Spencer Lovejoy.

After becoming the first Japanese girls’ U19 champion in 2015, top-seeded Watanabe looks for a fourth consecutive U.S. Junior Open. New Zealand’s two seed Ellie Epke is predicted to meet Watanabe in the final, while Americans Grace Doyle, the 2015 U17 champion and three seed, and fourth seeded Mariam Kamal, 2016 junior and senior Pan-Am Champion, will look to ensure U.S. representation in the final.

Five of the ten 2015 champions return to the tournament seeking titles in new divisions after aging up.

One week after winning the Canadian Junior Open U19, Marina Stefanoni returns to defend her U15 title. Stefanoni is predicted to face Egyptian two seed Nouran Youssef in what would be their third consecutive U.S. Junior Open final against one another.

US Squash members can follow their favorite players throughout the U.S. Junior Open using Player Tracker. To access this feature through Club Locker, visit www.clublocker.com and log in with your US Squash credentials.

Draws will be released Thursday night, December 15, on the U.S. Junior Open tournament page.

 

 

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