Sports

Liu wins Wimbledon girls title; Osuigwe in doubles final

AP

For the first time in 25 years, the girls junior champion at Wimbledon is from the United States.

Claire Liu beat another American, Ann Li, 6-2, 5-7, 6-2 Saturday in the final at the All England Club. In 1992, Chanda Rubin won the girls junior crown.

Liu is from Thousand Oaks, California, and Li is from Devon, Pennsylvania, and both are 17. They were two of five Americans in the quarterfinals.

“All the Americans are doing really well,” said Liu, who lost in the French Open final last month to yet another countrywoman. “It’s really good to have a good group of juniors pushing each other.”

The final was the first at Wimbledon between two American juniors since 1979 when Mary Lou Piatek beat Alycia Moulton.

In the boys junior final Sunday, Alejandro Davidovich Fokina of Spain will face Axel Geller of Argentina.

Liu, who was seeded third at Wimbledon, lost to 15-year-old Whitney Osuigwe at Roland Garros.

“Being able to play both the French Open and Wimbledon finals is definitely an accomplishment I think already, win or lose,” Liu said. “I think being able to get this match is really, really sweet.”

Osuigwe, who had never competed on grass until this past month, fell in the quarterfinals at Wimbledon to Russia’s Sofya Lansere. However, the 15-year-old Bradenton resident, who assumed the No. 1 world ranking in junior girls for the first time last week, advanced to the girls doubles final on Saturday. Osuigwe and partner Catherine McNally defeated Carson Branstine of Canada and Marta Kostyuk of Ukraine 6-2, 6-2 in the semifinals.

Osuigwe and McNally will face Serbia’s Olga Danilovic and Slovenia’s Kaja Juvan in Sunday’s final as she bids to win titles in consecutive Grand Slams and tries to protect her No. 1 ranking from the surging Liu, who won the girls junior doubles title at Wimbledon in 2016.

Bradenton resident Sebastian Korda fell in the boys doubles semifinals on Saturday. Korda and Nicolas Meijia of Colombia lost 6-3, 6-4 to Jurij Rodionov of Austria and Michael Vrbensky of the Czech Republic.

Americans girls have now won the titles at the French Open and Wimbledon in the same year for the first time since 1981.

The next Grand Slam tournament this year is the U.S. Open, the one Liu would like to win most. But one problem: She’s in the main draw.

“I’m just going to try to get better every day and hopefully the results will come,” Liu said. “Hopefully, I can be doing that.”

For now, though, Liu has one more thing she’d like to do in London.

“I haven’t had Indian food yet. I love the Indian food here,” Liu said. “I’m definitely going to go to Indian tonight.”

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