National

Osuigwe tops Liu in all-U.S. girls'   French Open final

Sally Milano | June 10, 2017


Fifteen-year-old Whitney Osuigwe of Bradenton, Fla., captured the girls' singles title at the 2017 French Open on Saturday, defeating fellow American Claire Liu of Thousand Oaks, Calif., 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-3.

The all-American girls' final was the first at Roland Garros since 1980 and the second in the tournament's history, dating back to 1953.

Osuigwe, playing in only her second junior Grand Slam tournament, won 68 percent of points on her first serve and converted on six of 12 break-point chances in the two-hour, seven-minute match.

The No. 7 seed's road to the title included three-set wins in her first three matches against Simona Waltert of Switzerland, Giulia Morlet of France and Xin Yu Wang of China, a 6-3, 6-3 win over doubles partner Caty McNally of the U.S. in the quarterfinals, and a 6-4, 6-4 victory against No. 11 seed Elena Rybakina of Russia in the semifinals.

 



In addition to winning the French Open, she also won two prestigious clay-court events earlier this year: the Asuncion Bowl in Lambare, Paraguay, and the Banana Bowl in Criciuma, Brazil.

Liu, seeded sixth in Paris, had an impressive run to the final. The 17-year-old Californian, who won the Easter Bowl in April, defeating Osuigwe in the semifinals there in their only previous meeting, did not drop a set until the championship.

The last all-American girls' final played in Paris took place in 1980, when Kathy Horvath defeated Kelly Henry for the championship. The last U.S. girl to win a title at Roland Garros was Jennifer Capriati in 1989.

American juniors have had an impressive showing at the 2017 French Open, with four of the eight quarterfinalists in the girls' draw hailing from the U.S. – Liu, Osuigwe, McNally and Amanda Anisimova. Anisimova, a girls’ finalist at Roland Garros in 2016, also played in the women's singles draw this year after earning a wild card into the tournament by winning the USTA Pro Circuit's French Open Wild Card Challenge.

On the boys' side, Gianni Ross posted the best singles result of any American, advancing to the quarterfinals, while Vasil Kirkov and Danny Thomas finished runner-up in the boys' doubles draw.

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