The Nike Junior Tour is comprised of more than 60,000 of the world’s best under-12 and under-14 youth tennis players in the world. Each year, following a series of regional qualifying events and national championships, Nike brings the top regional champions together in a unique location to experience an international tennis tournament.
The Nike Junior Tour International Masters has become the pinnacle experience for young tennis players to compete on a global stage with the very best of their peers from around the world. Nike is especially proud the tour can point to former NJT champions like Rafael Nadal who have gone on to become extremely successful professionals.
This year the tournament will be bigger than ever before with 30 countries expected to vie for top honours. With the dates now December 8 to 15 the Masters will be played later than usual. The reason for this is that it will fall in the week separating the Eddie Herr and Orange Bowl tournaments.
For the fifth time in its 14-year history, the NJT International Masters will be hosted at a Club Med venue and this year it will be staged at Club Med Columbus Isle on the Island of San Salvador in The Bahamas. All the players will be able to experience a piece of history because it was on these very beaches that Christopher Columbus landed on on his journey to discover America in 1492.
For the past two years the tournament has been played on hard courts but this year it will revert to clay.
The 30 countries expected to line up are France, Italy, Croatia, Spain, Czech Republic, Germany, Switzerland, Holland, Hungary, Slovakia, Belgium, Israel, United Kingdom, Russia, Serbia, UAE, Belarus, Morocco, China, Brazil, USA, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, South Africa, Bosnia, Sweden, Slovenia, Ukraine and Turkey.
The Nike Junior Tour has now been a breeding ground for young tennis players since 1997 when the concept was introduced by Chris Vermeeren and the first event played at Hilversum in Holland. Since then the NJT International Masters has travelled all over the world and has been hosted in Germany, Spain, South Africa, the Bahamas, France, Italy, the USA and the Dominican Republic.
Players such as current world No 1 Rafael Nadal, Sweden’s Robin Soderling, Juan Martin del Potro from Argentina, Czech Thomas Berdych, Israel’s Shahar Peer, and Czech Lucie Safarova have all cut their tennis teeth at the Nike Junior Tour.