On a perfect No. 1 court, 16-year-old Howde from Texas took 1 hour and 13 minutes to defeat Udwardi and win her first Junior Grand Slam title. Howde’s previous best performance in the junior major was a semifinal result at this year’s Australian Open.
“It feels amazing and I can’t even believe it. There were a lot of people, so it was very nervous in the beginning, but then I just focused on myself, and it got better throughout the match,” Howde said At the press conference after the match.
Howde, who currently sits at a career-high junior ranking No. 4, is the 14th American to win the girls’ singles title at Wimbledon, joining this century as champion of Claire Liu (2017). Before Liu, the last American to win the girls’ singles trophy was Chanda Rubin 30 years ago.
The teenager has had a terrific season on the grass, coming to Wimbledon a week ago with a Grade 1 Roehampton title in his pocket. She has now gone from strength to 12-0 on the surface over the past two weeks.
Howde had dropped only one set en route to the final, and maintained his commanding form to start the championship match. She took a 4-1 lead over 16-year-old Udvardi, younger sister of WTA Top 100 player Panna Udvardi.
Udvardi fired a solid volley to pull him back on serve at 4-3, but Howde used an error-forced forehand to break again for 5-3. In the next game, Howday used a powerful backhand to force another error on his first set point.
In the second set, Howde intercepted a run of five straight service breaks, holding her serve for another 5-3 lead. Udvardi powered through a quick catch to reach 5-4, but Howde, unharmed, made an excellent four in a row to catch Love and take the title.
Hovdey had 13 winners in Udvardy’s 11, and the American converted six of his eight breakpoints on his way to hoist the champion’s trophy.
Meanwhile, in the junior doubles final, unseeded Rose Marie Nijkamp of the Netherlands and Angela Okutoyi of Kenya beat Canada’s Kayla Krauss and Victoria Moboko 3-6, 6-4. [11-9],
It was a historic day for Kenya as 18-year-old Okutoyi became her country’s first Grand Slam champion. Okutoyi and 16-year-old Nijkamp both earned their first junior Grand Slam titles with 1 hour and 13 minute wins.
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