All-American girls' final set at French Open

June 9, 2017 09:06 AM

By Sally Milano

For the first time in 37 years, an all-American girls' singles final will be contested at the French Open, as Americans Claire Liu and Whitney Osuigwe have advanced to the championship match on the red clay of Roland Garros.

No. 6 seed Liu (pictured above) of Thousand Oaks, Calif., who turned 17 on May 25, advanced to the final without dropping a set, highlighted by a 6-3, 6-3 quarterfinal win over No. 3 seed and current WTA Top 200 player Bianca Andreescu of Canada. Now ranked a career-high No. 4 in the ITF World Junior Rankings, Liu will be going for her second Grand Slam title Sunday. She also won the Wimbledon girls' doubles championship last year with partner Usue Arconada.

Fifteen-year-old Osuigwe, from Bradenton, Fla., playing in only her second career Grand Slam tournament, earned three-set wins in her first three matches and then defeated her doubles partner, fellow American Caty McNally, in the quarterfinals. Osuigwe, ranked fifth in the world and seeded seventh in the draw, advanced to the final with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Elena Rybakina, ending the Russian's 10-match winning streak, which included a title run at the 58th Trofeo Bonfiglio - Campionati Internazionali d'Italia Juniores two weeks ago.

The last all-American girls' final played in Paris took place in 1980, when Kathy Horvath defeated Kelly Henry for the championship. The last U.S. girl to win a title at Roland Garros was Jennifer Capriati in 1989.

American juniors have had an impressive showing at the 2017 French Open, with four of the eight quarterfinalists in the girls' draw hailing from the U.S. – Liu, Osuigwe, McNally and Amanda Anisimova. Anisimova, a girls’ finalist at Roland Garros in 2016, also played in the women's singles draw this year after earning a wild card into the tournament by winning the USTA Pro Circuit's French Open Wild Card Challenge.

On the boys' side, Gianni Ross posted the best result of any American, advancing to the singles quarterfinals. He is still alive in doubles, as well, and will play for a spot in the final with partner Sam Riffice later Friday.

Vasil Kirkov and Danny Thomas advanced to the boys' doubles final earlier in the day with a 6-3, 2-6, 10-8 win over No. 4 seeds Jurij Rodionov of Austria and Michael Vrbensky of the Czech Republic.

The success of U.S. juniors at Roland Garros in 2017 is just the latest for Americans in Paris in recent years. Prior to Anisimova’s run to the girls’ final as a 14-year-old last year, three of the French Open boys’ singles semifinalists in 2015 were American, with Tommy Paul beating Taylor Fritz in the first all-American French Open boys’ singles final, dating back to 1947. CiCi Bellis also reached the girls’ semifinals in 2015.