United States’s Liv Hovde defeated Luca Udvardy of Hungary 6-3, 6-4 to clinch the Wimbledon 2022 junior girls’ singles title, here on Saturday.
On a full No. 1 Court, the 16-year-old Hovde of Texas took 1 hour and 13 minutes to take down Udvardy and win her first junior Grand Slam title. Hovde’s previous best showing at a 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 nerve-wracking at the beginning, but then I just focused on myself, and it got better throughout the match,” said Hovde in her post-match press conference.
Hovde, who is currently sitting at a career-high junior ranking of No 4, is the 14th American to win the girls’ singles title at Wimbledon, joining Claire Liu (2017) as champions in this century. Before Liu, the last American to win the girls’ singles trophy was Chanda Rubin 30 years ago.
The teenager has had a tremendous season on the grass, coming into Wimbledon with the Grade 1 Roehampton title in her pocket from the week before. She has now gone an overpowering 12-0 on the surface over the last two weeks.
Hovde had dropped only one set en route to the final, and she kept up her commanding form to start the championship match. She raced to a 4-1 lead over 16-year-old Udvardy, the younger sister of WTA Top 100 player Panna Udvardy.
Udvardy fired solid volleys to pull back on serve at 4-3, but Hovde used an error-forcing forehand to break again for 5-3. In the next game, Hovde used a powerful backhand to force another error on her first set point.
In the second set, Hovde stopped a run of five straight service breaks by holding onto her serve for another 5-3 lead. Udvardy powered through a quick hold to reach 5-4, but Hovde, unbothered, found four excellent serves in a row to hold at love and take the title.
Hovde had 13 winners to Udvardy’s 11, and the American converted six of her eight breakpoints on her way to hoisting the champion’s trophy.
Meanwhile, in the junior doubles final, unseeded Rose Marie Nijkamp of the Netherlands and Angella Okutoyi of Kenya edged No.4-seeded Canadians Kayla Cross and Victoria Mboko 3-6, 6-4, [11-9].
It was a historic day for Kenya as 18-year-old Okutoyi became the first Grand Slam champion from her nation. Both Okutoyi and 16-year-old Nijkamp earned their first junior Grand Slam titles with the 1-hour and 13-minute win.