Top junior girls ready
to play for national championship
J. Fred Sidhu | August 4, 2017
SAN DIEGO – After posting stellar results earlier this year in Grand Slam junior competition, the top junior girls in the United States have made their way to the USTA Girls’ 16 and 18 National Championships, which are being played on the hard courts of the Barnes Tennis Center, Aug. 5-13.
Headlining the Girls’ 18s division are this year’s Wimbledon girls’ champion Claire Liu of Thousand Oaks, Calif., and French Open girls' winner Whitney Osuigwe (pictured above) of Bradenton, Fla.
Last month, 17-year-old Liu defeated Ann Li of Devon, Pa., 6-2, 5-7, 6-2, to win the second-ever all-American girls’ singles final at Wimbledon, dating back to 1947. Liu became the first American girls' singles champion at Wimbledon since Chanda Rubin won the title in 1992.
In June, 15-year-old Osuigwe beat Liu, 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-3, in the second-ever all-American Roland Garros girls' final in Paris, becoming just the fourth American to win the French Open girls' singles title and the first since Jennifer Capriati accomplished the feat in 1989.
This year marks the first time since 1981 that American girls have won both the French Open and Wimbledon junior singles titles in the same year.
The top seed in the Girls’ 18s singles draw is 18-year-old Usue Arconada of College Park, Md., who is currently ranked No. 239 in the world. In 2016, Arconada teamed with Liu to win the girls’ doubles championship at Wimbledon.
In the Girls’ 16s division, Fiona Crawley of San Antonio is the top singles seed. The 15-year-old Crawley won the singles title at the USTA Girls’ 16s National Clay Court Championships less than two weeks ago at the Virginia Beach Tennis & Country Club in Virginia Beach, Va.
To view the list of seeded players in the USTA Girls’ 16s & 18s National Championships, click here.
To view full draws in the Girls’ 16s and Girls’ 18s Divisions, click here.
Tournament officials announced that tennis legend Billie Jean King has been named honorary chair for this year’s USTA Girls’ 16 and 18 National Championships. King, a 39-time major champion and former No. 1 player in the world, was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1987.
“We are very proud to have Billie Jean King as the honorary chair for our tournament. Over the years, she has been a great inspiration for so many girls, on and off the tennis court,” said Tournament Director Lornie Kuhle. “Billie Jean is a big supporter of this event, and we will always be thankful for her continued involvement and what it brings to this championship.”
More than 400 girls under the age of 18 will compete for the title of National Champion, as well as a wild-card entry into the women’s singles main draw at the US Open (for the 18s champion) and a wild card into the US Open Junior Championships (for the 16s champion). The 18s doubles champions will also receive a wild card into the US Open women’s doubles main draw.
The Girls’ 16s event will begin on Saturday, Aug. 5, and conclude with the singles and doubles finals on Saturday Aug. 12. The Girls’ 18s tournament will get underway on Sunday, Aug. 6, and conclude with the 18s singles championship on Sunday, Aug. 13. Both divisions will feature 256-player singles draws, with the top 32 players receiving a first-round bye. There will also be 128-team doubles draws, with the top 16 teams getting first-round byes.
The starting time for each day of the tournament will be as follows:
8 a.m. – Saturday, Aug. 5, through Wednesday, Aug. 9
8:30 a.m. – Thursday, Aug. 10
9 a.m. – Friday, Aug. 11, and Saturday, Aug. 12
10 a.m. – Sunday, Aug. 13
The Opening Ceremony for the USTA National Girls’ 16 & 18 National Championships is scheduled for 5 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 5, at the Barnes Tennis Center. (All times are PDT.) The scheduled guest speaker is USTA Chief Executive, Community Tennis and USTA National Campus, Kurt Kamperman.