THE Junior International Bolton tennis tournament gets under way at the USN Bolton Arena on Friday when many of the world's top young players will be in action.

The event, which is steeped in history, regularly attracts stars of the future.

Last year saw five-times Wimbledon men's singles champion Bjorn Borg visit the Arena where he watched his son Leo progress to the consolation singles final, while the USA team dominated the main draw singles.

Twelve-year-old Cori Gauff beat compatriot Alexandra Yepifanova to capture the girls' title last year before remarkably going on to reach the final of the US Open junior tournament in September (an 18-and-under event), losing to Amanda Anisimova, the Bolton 2015 runner-up.

Whitney Osuigwe, a second-round loser at Bolton in 2015, is now the number one ranked junior in the world.

On the boys' side the 2012 finalists, Francis Tiafoe and Michael Mmoh, are now ranked 79 and 175 in the ATP men’s pro rankings, while back-to-back title winner in 2010 and 2011, Stefan Kozlov, is also closing in on the top 100 of the men’s pro game.

Since the inaugural tournament in 1995, known then as Teen Tennis, the event has attracted a strong field of rising stars from across the globe.

A number of previous players have gone on to reach the world’s top 10, including Eugenie Bouchard, Caroline Wozniacki, Justine Henin, Kim Clijsters, Sir Andy Murray, Marcos Baghdatis, and Tomas Berdych.

More recently, Jelena Ostapenko, runner-up at Bolton in 2011, sensationally won last year's French Open, and is currently ranked number seven in the world.

Tournament director Richard Joyner said: "This event really is where history and the future meet.

"The number of players who have gone on to reach the higher echelons of the pro game is seriously impressive.

"Last year’s girls' winner Cori Gauff going on to reach the US Open junior final later in the year really shows the quality of the player field each year.

"As well as the wealth of players from across the globe, it’s a great opportunity for players from the North West, including some who train at the USN Bolton Arena, to compete against some of the world’s best 14-and-under players."

Qualifying is on Friday and Saturday, with the main draw on Sunday to the following Friday, January 19.

Entry for spectators is free with play starting 10am.