It may not have been under the prime time spotlight, but numerous American tennis players stole the stage at last week’s French Open. From dominance in Girls’ singles to impressive performances on the doubles side, #TeamUSA earned some hardware on the soft clay courts of Roland Garros.
Claire Liu (Thousand Oaks) reached the Girls’ final against fellow American Whitney Osuigwe in a tightly contested 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-3 matchup. It was the 17 year old’s first junior grand slam final, and her best such finish since winning Girls’ doubles at Wimbledon last summer.
In Women’s doubles, Bethanie Mattek-Sands continued a stellar year in both singles and tandems, this time winning her fourth title of the year at the French Open. After reaching the Round of 32 in singles, Mattek-Sands joined teammate Lucie Safarova to claim the doubles title. She is now ranked #97 in WTA Singles, and sits atop the doubles ranks at #1 worldwide with trophies at both of the year’s Grand Slam events.
Ryan Harrison and Donald Young represented the USA in Men’s doubles, although on opposite sides of the net during the championship match. Harrison and his teammate Michael Venus had to battle but eventually prevailed, 7-6, 6-7, 6-3. It was Harrison’s fourth career doubles title (and second of 2017), and his first Grand Slam trophy.
Southern California and Team USA also looked good on the Pro Circuit last weekend. In Gimcheon, Korea, former USC star Daniel Nyugen (Oxnard) continued a strong tour of Asia with his second title in as many weeks. Nyugen has dropped only two sets in two weeks, and looks to continue his success at the ITF Pro Futures event in Chinese Taipei this week.
Santa Barbara’s Kayla Day reached the semifinals in Marseilles, France at the ITF Pro Circuit, and joined Danielle Lau (Arcadia) in the mina draw in Great Britain this week. Julia Boserup (Newport Beach) heads to Great Britain as well for a WTA tournament featuring ten American women including Lauren Davis and Alison Riske. Coco Vandeweghe (Rancho Santa Fe) and Asia Muhammad (Long Beach) will compete in the Netherlands at the WTA Ricoh Open.
On the men’s side, Steve Johnson (Redondo Beach) headlines Team USA in Germany at the ATP Mercedes Cup, along with Taylor Fritz (Palos Verdes). Former UCLA standout Mackenzie McDonald (Los Angeles) will hope to emerge from the qualifying rounds at the ATP Challenger in Nottingham, while Ernesto Escobedo (West Covina) and Stefan Koslov represent in the ATP Ricoh Open.
The summer is underway for Team USA!
– Darryl Nash