Originally Posted by dannythomas
Obviously the Junior Orange Bowl is bigger than the Nike tournament and the 14s is way tougher than the 12s . In the 14s Nike International the final was between a Spanish and a Serbian girl. The 2 British girls who got to the Orange Bowl final did not enter the Nike. But if you compare the number of British entrants in the Orange Bowl against the US number it was a pretty remarkable achievement especially with all the Russian girls in the mix.
In fact there were just 4 British girls in the main Orange Bowl 14s draw and 36 Americans. If I looked at the numbers in the qualifying rounds I am sure the difference would be even bigger. The fact that 2 out of the 4 got to the Final is pretty impressive.
You don't "enter" the Nike Internationals. Only the best get "invited"; usually 4 per country, (G12, G14, B12, B14), + a handful of WCs (4 or 5, but no more than 2 total players per country per division). Nike picks either #1 ranked nationally (2012 Nike rule for GBR) or the top (i.e. top 16) ranked nationally hold a national tourney & finalist proceeds to NJT Internationals (2012 Nike rule for USA). Then Nike PAYS (all expense) for player (& parent/coach) to participate in week long Internationals. The 2 British girls that played OB G14 finals did not "not enter", they did Not Qualify. In fact, Britain had their #1 ranked G14's (Sophia Drakeford-Lewis) AND was awarded 1 of the 5 G14s WCs (Jazzi Plews). USA did not have G14WC, Sophia , who won the NJT National Masters, was the only G14 participant.
So now you give those European kids a fair chance in an overseas tourney. We are always saying, on this side of the pond, that the talented ones, who only play their own country (or just European circuit), may not be able to afford a week long tournament (eddie herr/orange). At NJT Internationals, only the very top ranked go, regardless of ability to pay for an overseas trip. I say that counts for something, something which niether Orange Bowl nor Eddie Herr can adjust championship for.
But yes, you are right about the 14's. It is a tougher division than the 12s. As is the 16s over the 14s and the 18s over the 16s and the WTA/ITF over Jrs.... Which just shows how long there is to go, and having one All-British OB G14s final, does not a winning recipe make. Not anymore than another international tourney's All-American G12s final. IMHO...