Americans Liv Hovde, Sebastian Gorzny and Alex Michelsen win Wimbledon junior events
As competition at the 2022 Wimbledon Championships concluded Sunday, the future of American tennis looked particularly bright: 16-year-old Liv Hovde won girls’ singles, while Sebastian Gorzny, 18, and Alex Michelsen, 17, won boys’ doubles.
Additionally, unseeded Michael Zheng finished as runner-up in boys’ singles, taking each set in his final against Croatia’s Mili Poljicak to a tiebreak.
Hovde, the junior world No. 4 from McKinney, Texas who was seeded first at this year’s event, defeated Hungary’s Luca Udvardy 6-3, 6-4 in the singles final. She lost just one set in six matches to win the title, but it was a big one: In Round 4 against Canadian No. 13 seed Kayla Cross, Hovde dropped the first set and saved a match point en route to a 4-6, 7-5, 6-4 comeback victory.
The victory marked her fifth title on the ITF junior circuit, and first at a Grand Slam event. Earlier this year, she had reached the Australian Open semifinals and Roland Garros quarterfinals, as well as the quarterfinals of the girls’ doubles events at both tournaments.
“It was very nerve-wracking at the beginning, but then I just focused on myself,” Hovde said in a post-final press conference. “It got better throughout the match.”
Discussing how “fast-moving” grass courts were particularly well-suited for her play style, Hovde also noted that she has not yet made the decision to turn professional.
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“I just have to see where things go,” she said, noting that she would consider playing the US Open women's main draw if given the opportunity.
A number of standout players from the United States and abroad have won junior Grand Slam titles in recent years. Australia’s Ashleigh Barty and Poland’s Iga Swiatek – the only two women to have reached WTA world No. 1 status this decade – won girls’ singles at Wimbledon in 2011 and 2018, respectively.
Hovde is just the second American girl to win the junior title at the All-England Club in the last 30 years, joining California's Claire Liu (2017). She's also the second American to win the girls' singles title in the last four Slams, after Robin Montgomery swept the junior singles and doubles titles at the US Open last summer.
On Saturday, the unseeded American duo Gorzny and Michelsen took down the fifth-seeded French pair Gabriel Debru and Paul Inchauspe, 7-6(5), 6-3. Wimbledon saw Gorzny and Michelsen team up for their first major tournament, though Michelsen had previously reached the Australian Open boys’ doubles final with Croatian Daniel Vallejo in January.
Though New Jersey’s 18-year-old Zheng did not win, he is the second American in the last two years to reach the boys’ singles final at Wimbledon. Fellow Jersey native Samir Banerjee won the title in 2021, but has since aged out of the division. He was one of two Americans to reach the quarterfinals, as California's Learner Tien knocked off No. 4 seed Gonzalo Bueno of Peru in Round 2 en route to the last eight.
The last time two Americans won the juniors singles title at a Grand Slam was at the 1992 US Open, which saw the U.S. sweep all four events: Brian Dunn won boys’ singles, Lindsay Davenport won girls’ singles, Jimmy Jackson and Eric Taino won boys’ doubles, and Lindsay Davenport and Nicole London defeated compatriots Katie Schlukebir and Julie Steven in girls’ doubles.
Check out more photos of the U.S. junior Wimbledon champions in the photo gallery below.