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Bradenton’s Whitney Osuigwe gains No. 1 spot in girls rankings

Whitney Osuigwe, of the United States, serves the ball to compatriot Claire Liu during the girls final of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in June in Paris.
Whitney Osuigwe, of the United States, serves the ball to compatriot Claire Liu during the girls final of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in June in Paris. AP

Whitney Osuigwe is the new No. 1 girls junior player in the world.

The Bradenton resident, who attends and trains at IMG Academy, collected 1,156.88 points in the International Tennis Federation (ITF) junior rankings released Monday afternoon.

She had been ranked No. 2 since winning the French Open girls title in June, becoming the first American girl to win the junior singles title in Paris in 28 years.

Osuigwe, 15, is seeded No. 2 in the Wimbledon girls singles draw behind 17-year-old American Kayla Day. Day fell seven spots in the rankings released Monday; she is 11th. Claire Liu, the American whom Osuigwe beat in the French Open final, moved from No. 3 to No. 2 in the rankings. Liu is seeded third in the Wimbledon junior girls competition.

Osuigwe opened play in Wimbledon on Saturday, beating Great Britain’s Gemma Heath 6-3, 6-1. She takes on Switzerland’s Ylena In-Albon, 18, in the second round on Tuesday.

Osuigwe is one of nine Americans in the second round out of the 32 players overall remaining. This is Osuigwe’s first appearance at Wimbledon and only her second grass court tournament. Her first grass court event — and competitive point on the surface — came during a tuneup event at Roehampton (London) last week.

Anastasia Potapova, the Russian who had occupied the top spot for nearly a year, fell from No. 1 to No. 4 this week because the points and bonus points she earned for winning the Wimbledon title in 2016 cycled out of the rankings (the ITF uses a 52-week rollover system). Potapova is not defending her junior title at Wimbledon; she played in the women’s singles main draw instead and was forced to retire due to injury in the second set of her first-round match last week against Tatjana Maria.

Osuigwe’s ascension to No. 1 in the world means IMG Academy boasts the top girls and boys player. IMG Academy’s Miomar Kecmanovic holds onto the No. 1 boys ranking.

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