Top 10 Junior Tennis Tournaments
Most people are familiar with the major tennis tournaments that happen every year, especially Grand Slam events like the US Open or Wimbledon. However, these tournaments also have their own junior version for tennis players under the age of 18. Listed below are the most prestigious tennis tournaments for junior players.
What Are the Biggest Junior Tennis Tournaments in the World?
- US Open
- Australian Open
- French Open
- ITF Junior Masters
- J500 Milan (Trofeo Bonfiglio)
- J500 Plantation (Orange Bowl Junior Championships)
- J500 Merida (Copa Yucatan)
- J500 Osaka (Osaka Mayor’s Cup)
- J500 Criciuma (Banana Bowl)
While mostly known as the premiere Grand Slam for professional tennis players, Wimbledon also hosts a tournament for juniors players. Like any other junior tournament, Wimbledon has boys’ singles and doubles, as well as girls’ singles and doubles. The tournament has seen many of the game’s greatest players compete in it. Men like Björn Borg and Roger Federer won the tournament at the start of their tennis careers, while women like Ann Jones and Martina Hingis have done likewise. The tournament takes place annually in July at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in London, England.
2. US Open
Another world famous Grand Slam, the US Open, has its own tournament for amateur tennis players from around the world. The first US Open Boys’ Singles tournament took place in 1973, while the tournament for girls was instituted a year later. The most recent tournament saw the Spaniard Martin Landaluce winning the boys’ event and the Philippines native Alex Eala winning the girls’. The event takes place every September in Flushing, New York, at the Billie Jean King Tennis Center.
3. Australian Open
By far the oldest of the Junior Grand Slams, the Australian Open established its boys’ singles event in 1922, followed by girls’ singles in 1930. The tournament was originally known as the “Australian Championships” until it was renamed the “Australian Open” in 1969. Early on, the junior tournament was dominated by Australians. The first non-Australian to take home the trophy was the Englishman Billy Knight in 1954. The competition takes place every January at Melbourne Park in Melbourne, Australia.
4. French Open (Roland Garros)
The only Grand Slam to be played on a clay surface, the French Open is known to be one of the most challenging tournaments for professionals to win, let alone juniors. The first junior draw was added for boys’ singles in 1947, followed by girls’ singles in 1953. Doubles were added as a draw for both sexes in 1981. The reigning champion, Gabriel Debru, became the 15th Frenchman to win the tournament with his victory in the 2022 boys’ singles draw. The tournament takes place from May to June at the Stade Roland Garros in Paris, France.
5. ITF Junior Masters
The first non-Grand Slam to be featured on this list, the ITF Junior Masters is a tournament at the end of the year for the best junior tennis players in the world. It is very similar to the ATP Finals, only this tournament is for players 18 and under. The top seven ranked junior players automatically qualify for the tournament’s singles and doubles draws, while the final spot is reserved for the top-ranked Chinese player, as long as they are in the Top 25. If there is no Chinese player in the Top 25, the eighth-ranked junior player makes the tournament. The ITF Junior Masters are held in Chengdu, China.
6. J500 Milan (Trofeo Bonfiglio)
Another competition on clay, the Trofeo Bonfiglio is one of the most prestigious junior tournaments outside of the four Grand Slams. Located at the Tennis Club Milano Alberto Bonacossa in Milan, Italy, the tournament was first founded in 1959. The tournament averages an impressive 15,000 spectators during competition week in May. Like the other tournaments labeled “J500,” the winner of the Trofeo Bonfiglio is awarded 500 points on the ITF Rankings, providing a big boost to the champion’s status.
7. J500 Plantation (Orange Bowl Junior Championships)
Founded in 1947 by Florida native Eddie Herr, the Orange Bowl is the most competitive junior tournament in the United States outside of the US Open. The Orange Bowl, like the Trofeo Bonfiglio, takes place on clay courts. Winners of the tournament include Andy Roddick, Björn Borg, Mary Joe Fernandez, and Chris Evert. The competition takes place every December at the Frank Veltri Tennis Center in Plantation, Florida.
8. J500 Merida (Copa Yucatan)
The first tournament located in Latin America to make the list, the Copa Yucatan is an important competition for juniors to participate in. First founded in 1977 as the Copa Internacional Casablanca, the tournament has undergone various transitions, rebrands, and relocations over the years. In 2004, the tournament was renamed the Abierto Juvenil Mexicano while also being promoted from Grade 1 to Grade A status. This promotion allowed for the winner of the competition to receive more points. Now known as the Copa Yucatan, the tournament has been played in Merida, Mexico, since 2018.
9. J500 Osaka (Osaka Mayor’s Cup)
One of the most prestigious tennis competitions located in Asia, the Osaka Mayor’s Cup was first held in Japan in 1993 under the name of the “World Super Junior Championships.” The tournament was relocated to Osaka three years later, where it was soon renamed in honor of the city’s mayor. The cup has seen its fair share of tennis legends, with players such as Caroline Wozniacki and Marcos Baghdatis winning the trophy during their junior careers. The tournament takes place every October at the Utsubo Tennis Center in Osaka, Japan.
10. J500 Criciuma (Banana Bowl)
Although the Banana Bowl is one of the least prestigious junior tournaments, it is one of the opening tournaments of the ITF Junior Tour. The tournament takes place each year in February in Criciuma, Brazil. The competition was previously held in Porto Alegre before making the move north in 2019. The tournament has been a step toward stardom for many players, as shown by the talented Leylah Fernandez’s victory in the 2018 competition.
- J500 Cairo
- J500 Offenbach
- J300 San Jose
- J300 Salinas
- J300 Barranquilla
- J300 Lima
- J300 Asuncion
- J300 Casablanca
- J300 Durban
- J300 Repentigny
What is the biggest junior tennis tournament in the world?
The biggest junior tennis tournament in the world is the Wimbledon Junior Grand Slam. Considering the prestige that comes from winning the professional Wimbledon competition, it is no surprise that the junior tournament is an important victory itself. Perhaps because of tennis’s rich history in England, or the fact that it is the only Grand Slam to be played on grass, Wimbledon has always been seen as the greatest of the many tennis tournaments held around the world.