Francis Tiafoe, a 13-year-old from College Park, Md., beat Michael Mmoh, a 14-year-old from Bradenton, Fla., in an All-American boys’ singles final on Friday at the AEGON Junior International in Bolton, England, the first of two premier international junior tournaments for players ages 14 and under being held in Europe this month.
Tiafoe, who trains at the Junior Tennis Champions Center, a USTA Certified Regional Training Center in College Park, Md., won 6-3, 6-3, and keeps the boys’ title in American hands for the third consecutive year after Stefan Kozlov won back-to-back titles in 2010-11.
American Alicia Black, a 13-year-old who trains full-time at the USTA Training Center Headquarters in Boca Raton, Fla., reached the girls’ singles final, where she lost to No. 5 seed Maia Lumsden of Great Britain 7-5, 6-1.
Tiafoe, the No. 15 seed who reached the semifinals at this event in 2011, won the title without dropping a set in five matches and advanced to the final after upsetting top-seeded Kenneth Raisma of Estonia, 7-6 (3), 7-5, in Thursday’s semifinal. Mmoh was the No. 3 seed in the tournament and advanced to the final after beating fellow American Nathan Ponwith of Scottsdale, Ariz., 6-0, 6-3, in the semifinals.
The event also featured an All-American boys’ doubles final, where Ponwith and partner William Blumberg of Greenwich, Conn., beat Mmoh and Tiafoe, 3-6, 7-5, [10-7], in a match tiebreak. Alicia Black teamed with Nicole Frenkel of Winchester, Mass., to win the girls’ doubles title.
The American contingent will now travel to Les Petits As in Tarbes, France, where last year Henrick Wiersholm of Kirkland, Wash., became the first American to win the boys’ title since 2005 and joined such illustrious players as Rafael Nadal, Michael Chang, Kim Clijsters, Martina Hingis, Richard Gasquet, Dinara Safina, Juan-Carlos Ferrero, Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Donald Young as Les Petits As champions.