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Bradenton's Adam Neff Hits Paris with Longines Junior Tennis Aces
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Adam Neff, the top nationally ranked player in the Boys' 12 and under, had the opportunity to spend his birthday in Paris, courtesy of Longines. While the trip didn't turn out the way he had hoped, it was an experience to remember.

Adam Neff on the red clay of France
courtesy, Marcia Frost
The Longines Future Tennis Aces is in its fourth year. The event brings together 16 junior players from around the world. This year's tournament was for boys (they alternate each year) and was held in Paris during Roland Garros. Players came from Australia, China, England, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Poland, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland and Taiwan came to participate.

Adam Neff was the lone representative of the United States, having earned that honor when he won the boys' 12 singles title in April at the USTA National Spring Championships in Delray Beach, Florida.

The excitement began with a cocktail party, which included kid-friendly drinks for the younger set. It was not your usual draw ceremony since it's nearly impossible to seed an international tournament of players this young. The names were therefore chosen randomly.

The disadvantage with this system is that you can end up with first round matches of some of the strongest players in the tournament. That was exactly what happened. Adam Neff was set to play Germany's Rudolph Molleker in the first round.

In previous years the event was held on the grounds of Roland Garros, but it was decided that the players would find it more exciting and get more of a crowd if it were in the middle of Paris.

A red clay court, bleachers, hospitality tents and a movie theater size screen to show the French Open matches were set up in front of the Hotel de Ville (City Hall). It was a beautiful setup the kids were all excited for, but Mother Nature didn't agree.

Rain forced the match indoors at the Longines Academy, a situation Neff was not happy with, "I've never played indoors on clay. That was a little weird. They told us that for sure we wouldn't play indoors. It's an outdoor tournament, so that kind of screwed me up a little bit."

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Page updated on Sunday, April 13, 2014
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