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2023 Roland Garros: Americans Tyra Grant, Clervie Ngounoue win girls' doubles title

Victoria Chiesa | June 10, 2023


American juniors are leaving Roland Garros with a winners' trophy as Tyra Grant and Clervie Ngounoue won the girls' doubles title on Saturday in Paris.

 

The sixth seeds beat No. 1 seeds Alina Korneeva, who was earlier crowned the girls' singles champion, and Sarah Saito 6-3, 6-2 Saturday's final. The duo lost just one set en route to the title—in a 6-0, 6-3, [10-8] third-round win over Czechs Alena Kovackova and Laura Samsonova—and lost just 15 games in eight sets in their other four matches to claim their first major as a pair.

 

Grant and Ngounoue are the fifth all-American pair to win a girls' doubles Grand Slam title in the last five years, joining Coco Gauff and Caty McNally (2018 US Open); Chloe Beck and Emma Navarro (2019 Roland Garros); Savannah Broadus and Abigail Forbes (2019 Wimbledon); and Ashlyn Krueger and Robin Montgomery (2021 US Open).

The win is Ngounoue's second career junior Grand Slam title, as she triumphed at the Australian Open last year with Diana Shnaider. The 16-year-old, a product of the Metropolitan Tennis and Education Group USTA Foundation NJTL chapter in Silver Spring, Md. and the USTA Foundation Excellence Team, is now 14-0 in ITF junior doubles competition this year, and as of June 5, is the No. 1 -ranked junior in the world.

 

Grant, meanwhile, made her Grand Slam debut in Paris; she successfully qualified for the singles main draw before losing to No. 7 seed Renata Jamrichova of Slovakia in the first round. 

 

"My first Slam, this was a beautiful experience," Grant said. "I'm so happy I could play doubles with Clervie. ... It was amazing. Paris is such a special place. Thank you everyone for the support, everyone who was here and everyone who was watching at home. It was like a dream." 

Photo by Clement Mahoudeau/FFT.

Grant and Ngounoue's victory was an exclaimation point on a strong Roland Garros for American juniors overall. In the girls' singles draw, Ngounoue, who was seeded No. 2, reached the quarterfinals, while three of the eight boys' singles quarterfinalists (Darwin Blanch, Learner Tien and Cooper Williams) were American. Blanch and Tien went on to the semifinals.

 

Unseeded Blanch, 15, upset No. 1 seed Rodrigo Pacheco Mendez of Mexico 6-2, 7-5 in the opening round, and eventually lost to the champion and No. 3 seed, Dino Prizmic of Croatia. He also beat No. 14 seed Adriano Dzhenev of Bulgaria in the third round, 6-3, 6-7(4), 6-3, and No. 9 seed Williams in an all-American quarterfinal, 7-6(5), 2-6, 6-3. 

 

Australian Open runner-up Tien matched Blanch with three wins over seeds as an unseeded player. He beat No. 14 seed Federico Bondioli of Italy in the first round, and No. 2 seed Alexander Blockx of Belgium two rounds later in a rematch of January's final in Melbourne; Tien advanced to the quarterfinals when Blockx retired after losing the first set, 6-4. In the final eight, he beat No. 10 seed Joao Fonseca of Brazil in three sets 6-3, 2-6, 6-1 before losing to eventual runner-up and No. 8 seed Juan Carlos Prado Angelo of Bolivia.

 

In boys' doubles, Tien and Williams also reached the quarterfinals, where they were beaten by the eventual winners Pacheco Mendez and Yaroslav Demin, the No. 1 seeds.

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