The future of American women’s tennis looks extremely bright.
American Whitney Osuigwe became only the fifth U.S. player to win the girls’ title at the French Open when she defeated fellow-American Claire Liu 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-3, in Saturday’s final.
It was the second ever all-American final at Roland Garros.
“I think actually me and Claire are going to go into the town and we’re going to go to dinner,” said Osuigwe, who is from Florida. “It was one of my goals, but I didn’t really have any expectations,” she said when asked if she had expected to win a junior Grand Slam at such a young age. “I just kept working hard and knew the results would come.”
Osuigwe—the No. 5 ranked junior player in the world—became the ninth-youngest girls’ champion at the French Open, at 15 years, 1 month, 24 days — just over one month older than Justine Henin was when she won in 1997.
Kathy Horvath defeated Kelly Henry in the 1980 girls’ final, the only other all-American girls’ final at Roland Garros. Only three other Americans have won the French Open girls’ singles title: Anne Smith, Bonnie Gadusek and Jennifer Capriati.
This was the first time since the 1992 U.S. Open that two American girls faced each other in the final of a junior Grand Slam. That year, future U.S. Open champion Lindsay Davenport defeated Julie Steven in New York.
[More from Excelle Sports: Jelena Ostapenko defeats Simona Halep to win French Open]
Osuigwe, who has already turned pro, lost her only previous meeting to Liu, a 17-year-old from California, 6-1, 6-1 at the Easter Bowl in April.
“I mean, I beat her, like, fast at Easter Bowl, but that was on hard,” Liu said. “And I knew she would learn from that match. So I was expecting her to play well, and she did.”