They are all under the age of 13, hail from the four corners of the globe and dream of one day winning it all at the prestigious Roland Garros tournament. Partner and Official Timekeeper of the French Open, Longines is on the hunt for the champions of tomorrow, providing the chance for twenty children to see how they measure up in a tournament worthy of the greatest professional tennis players.
For eight years now, Longines has organised a tennis tournament that brings together the most promising players under the age of 13 from their respective countries. This tournament is supported by the French Tennis Federation (FFT) and aims to help these young and talented athletes to enjoy an international experience in conditions that are identical to those of Roland Garros. Each year, the participants attempt to qualify for the finals and to compete in a truly exceptional exhibition match. These players, who come from all over the world, are selected by their respective tennis federations. As Partner and Official Timekeeper of the Parisian Grand Slam since 2007 and organiser of the Longines Future Tennis Aces tournament (LFTA) since 2010, Longines is committed to giving them the best possible welcome.In 2016, the tournament was held for the first time on the Parvis de La Défense, the economic heart of the French capital, on an outdoor court. Longines brought together 16 young girls who come from Australia, China, South Korea, Spain, the United States, France, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Poland, Russia, Singapore, Switzerland and Taiwan to participate in this event.
The long-awaited final saw Kristina Volgapkina from Russia face off against María Dolores López Martínez of Spain, with the latter emerging victorious. Accompanied by former Spanish player and event sponsor Arantxa Sánchez Vicario all week long, the young champions enjoyed a unique experience, culminating in a friendly doubles match between the two finalists, Arantxa and Kim Clijsters. The winner, María Dolores López Martínez, also had the honour of tossing the coin for Sunday’s second match of the day on the Philippe-Chatrier court, which saw Wawrinka and Troicki face off in the last sixteen. In her own words, it was a real dream come true for the champion in the making.