LONDON, Great Britain - 17-year-old Claire Liu made her major breakthrough when she finished runner-up at junior Roland Garros, and went one better at Wimbledon, surviving fellow American Ann Li, 6-2, 5-7, 6-2 to win her first major title.
"It feels amazing," Liu said after the match. "I'm literally so speechless. I just keep smiling all the time. I still can't even believe it. I mean, it's like a dream come true."
It was the second straight all-American major junior girls final after Liu narrowly lost to Whitney Osuigwe in three sets in Paris, and the Thousand Oaks, California native appeared poised for a decisive victory when she led by a set and a break, holding three match points serving at 40-0.
But Li, who had upset US Open junior champion Kayla Day en route to the final, won four games in a row to force a decider, clinching the second set after a titanic 12th game.
"I was definitely disappointed, but I knew if I just tried to keep playing the next point, then I would have a better chance at winning than thinking back on those three points."
Liu returned to form in the third, breaking to start and securing the victory on her fifth match point.
The teenager became the first American to win junior Wimbledon since 1992, when a young Chanda Rubin lifted the title before going on to earn a career-high WTA ranking of No.6 in the world.
"I think it's amazing. I think there were five American juniors girls in the quarters. I think all of us, all the Americans are doing really well.
"We are all pretty good friends,ad we all try to train together a lot with the USTA. It's really good to have a good group of juniors pushing each other."
The doubles final took place on Sunday. Osuigwe paired Caty McNally to reach the final, but fell to Olga Danilovic and Kaja Juvan, 6-4, 6-3.