2017 Year in Review: U.S. Girls Dominate
The year in tennis for U.S. players was nothing short of phenomenal, and some of the biggest highlights came from our junior girls, who dominated play on the world's biggest stages.
Leading the way was 15-year-old Whitney Osuigwe, who finished the year as the No. 1 player in the world and the ITF World Junior Champion after winning the 2017 French Open girls' title and compiling a 57-8 record in singles and 34-9 mark in doubles in 2017. Osuigwe, who capped the year by winning last week's prestigious Orange Bowl Girls' 18s title, is the third U.S. girl and fourth American junior in the last six years to finish as the world's year-end No. 1 (Taylor Fritz, 2015; CiCi Bellis, 2014; Taylor Townsend, 2012).
Also in 2017, U.S. girls contested all-American finals at three of the four Grand Slam tournaments, starting with the French Open, where Osuigwe (pictured above left) defeated 17-year-old Claire Liu (pictured above right) in the first all-U.S. girls' final at Roland Garros since 1980 and the second in the tournament's history, dating back to 1953.
Three weeks later, Liu reached her second straight major final at junior Wimbledon and this time went one step further, taking home the title by defeating Ann Li, 6-2, 5-7, 6-2, in the second-ever all-American girls' final at the All England Club and the first since 1979.
U.S. girls competed in an unprecedented third straight all-American major final at the US Open Junior Championships, where 16-year-old Amanda Anisimova captured the singles title with a 6-0, 6-2 win over 13-year-old phenom Coco Gauff, the youngest US Open girls' finalist in history.
By competing in three all-American Grand Slam championships in 2017, U.S. boys and girls have now contested six all-American junior singles finals at major events since 2014, including two at Wimbledon (Noah Rubin defeated Stefan Kozlov in 2014; Liu defeated Li in 2017), two at the French Open (Tommy Paul defeated Fritz in 2015; Osuigwe defeated Liu in 2017) and two at the US Open (Fritz defeated Paul in 2015; Anisimova defeated Gauff in 2017).
In addition to players' individual results, American girls reached the pinnacle of the sport in team play. The U.S. squad of Osuigwe, Anisimova and Caty McNally defeated Japan to win its fourth Junior Fed Cup title, the Fed Cup equivalent for girls ages 16-and-under, in Budapest, Hungary, in September. It was the third championship for the American girls in the last six years; they also won titles in 2008, 2012 and 2014.
Team USA, comprised of Gauff, Charlotte Owensby and Gabriella Price, also won a record seventh ITF World Junior Tennis championship – the 14-and-under equivalent of Fed Cup – in Prostejov, Czech Republic, in August, defeating defending champion Ukraine in the final.