U.S. teens Liu, Tiafoe win first pro singles titles on USTA Pro Circuit

March 23, 2015 01:54 PM

By Sally Milano, USTA.com

American teens Claire Liu, 14, and Francis Tiafoe, 17, won the first professional singles titles of their young careers Sunday while competing at events on the USTA Pro Circuit.

Liu, at the age of 14 years, 9 months and 25 days, became the youngest female player to win a USTA Pro Circuit tournament since Anna Kournikova in 1996 when she captured the championship at the Orlando Women's $10,000 Tournament in Orlando, Fla. Tiafoe, 17, claimed the title at the $15,000 Bakersfield Tennis Open in Bakersfield, Calif.

Liu, of Thousand Oaks, Calif., defeated Hungary's Fanni Stollar, 6-1, 6-3, to win the title. Liu (pictured above) is currently ranked No. 1,215 in the world. She trains with personal coach Mike Gennette and USTA national coaches Leo Azevedo and Adam Peterson out of the USTA Training Center – West in Carson, Calif., and has represented the U.S. in international junior play, winning gold at the 14-and-under World Junior Tennis competition in 2013.

Tiafoe, of College Park, Md., beat France's Maxime Tabatruong, 6-1, 6-2, to claim the Bakersfield title. Tiafoe, ranked No. 816, made history in 2013 by winning the Metropolia Orange Bowl Boys' 18s title at age 15, becoming the youngest player to ever win the prestigious junior tournament. He trains with coaches Misha Kouznetsov and Frank Salazar out of the Junior Tennis Champions Center in College Park, Md., a USTA Certified Regional Traning Center.