Maylee Phelps sweeps singles and doubles titles at Cruyff Foundation Junior Masters
The most prestigious title in junior wheelchair tennis is now in American hands after 16-year-old Maylee Phelps swept the girls’ singles and doubles titles at the illustrious Cruyff Foundation Junior Masters in Tarbes, France.
The world's best junior wheelchair tennis players compete at the Cruyff Foundation Junior Masters annually alongside the final four days of play at the prestigious Les Petits As tournament for able-bodied juniors ages 12 to 14.
Participating in her first Junior Masters, Phelps was drawn as the top seed in a round-robin group against Belgium’s Luna Gryp, Brazil’s Vitoria Miranda and Turkey’s Zeliha Aksak. She fully lived up to her top ranking, losing just five games in six sets in the round robin, and then beating Gryp again in the final, 6-0, 6-1.
Phelps partnered Miranda for a similarly-dominant victory in doubles. They lost one game in a 6-1, 6-0 final against Aksak and Gryp.
“I had a fun and wonderful week getting to know the other wheelchair tennis players and participating in my first Junior Masters,” Phelps said in victory, as per the ITF website.
“I’m happy that I have won the singles and doubles titles and I hope to be back next year.”
Phelps rose to the world No. 1 girls’ ranking on Jan. 2, and has played in four finals so far this year. Two weeks prior to competing at the Junior Masters, she finished as the singles and doubles runner-up at the Open des Hauts-de-France, a Grade A junior event on the ITF/UNIQLO Wheelchair Tour.
Phelps’ fellow American, California’s Charlie Cooper, also competed in the event in the boys’ draw. He went 1-2 in his round-robin matches, and notably lost a tough three-setter to the eventual champion, Austria’s Maximilian Taucher, the top seed. He and Ivarvan Rijt of the Netherlands lost a tough three-set doubles semifinal to Taucher and Great Britain’s Joshua Johns, also the eventual champions, 6-4, 1-6, [10-5].
Grand Slam champions including Rafael Nadal, Michael Chang, Martina Hingis, Kim Clijsters, Jelena Ostapenko and Bianca Andreescu were also Les Petit As winners in their youth. Meanwhile, wheelchair major-winners including Diede de Groot, Alfie Hewett, Yui Kamiji, Niels Vink were previously crowned champions at the Cruyff Foundation Junior Masters.
The Johan Cruyff Foundation, founded by legendary Dutch soccer player Johan Cruyff in 1997 to support the athletic pursuits of children with disabilities, has been the title partner of the event since 2004.