Claire Liu Wins 2017 Wimbledon Girls’ Singles

Claire Liu (click to enlarge)

Before I comment on this result, if you want to see this match and have the WatchESPN app, do a search for Liu inside the app. I don’t know how long they will keep the replay of the Girls final available, but one day later it’s there. I’m rewatching it as I post this. I also don’t know if it only works in the United States but it’s worth a try. 

For the second straight Major, the Junior Girls’ singles title match was an All-American affair. 17-year old Claire Liu, the junior world #2, was in both finals. After finishing runner-up to 15-year old American Whitney Osuigwe at Roland Garros, Liu followed up by winning the Girls’ singles crown at Wimbledon. She defeated fellow 17-year old American Ann Li, 6-2 5-7 6-2. Both players demonstrated heart and grit. Li was down triple championship point 2-6 4-5 0-40 and fought back to win the second set.  Liu bounced back from losing those 3 championship points in the second set, and a questionable call by the chair umpire not to replay a point in the penultimate game of that set, to win the final set going away.

Ann Li and Claire Liu (click to enlarge)

Claire Liu, who teamed with American Usue Maitane Arconada to win the Wimbledon Girls’ Doubles title last year, has a game reminiscent of Caroline Wozniacki. Liu keeps the errors down going for large targets. For example, if there is an opening down the line, she’s hitting two feet inside the line. Ann Li, on the other hand, plays with more pop on her shots. She took out the #1 seed, American Kayla Day, in the quarterfinals. In some ways, Ann has more pro level strokes than Claire, but at this point in her development gives away too many free points with unforced errors. If Li ever learns to harness her power, she could be a good WTA level player. But knowing when to go big and when to play percentages matters too, and Liu understands that expertly. Wozniacki, Martina Hingis and Angelique Kerber rode that style to world #1. But on this day it doesn’t matter what kind of WTA level player either of them will be. Today, they are both winners in my book. Claire Liu is forever a Wimbledon champion.

 

ALL PICS CLICK TO ENLARGE

3 CLAIRE LIU d. Ann Li, 6-2 5-7 6-2

 

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