Clervie Ngounoue wins first junior Grand Slam at Australian Open

Clervie Ngounoue (left) and Diana Shnaider with the Australian Open girls' doubles trophy.
January 28, 2022 08:00 AM

In just her fourth-ever Grand Slam event, Clervie Ngounoue is a major champion. The 15-year-old American, a product of the Metropolitan Tennis & Education Group (MTEG) National Junior Tennis and Learning (NJTL) chapter in Silver Spring, Md. and the USTA Foundation Excellence Team, partnered Russia's Diana Shnaider to victory in the junior girls' doubles event at the Australian Open. 

Ngounoue and Shnaider were seeded No. 1 in the field and rolled to a straight-sets victory in Margaret Court Arena on Friday over unseeded Canadians Kayla Cross and Victoria Mboko in just 56 minutes. The duo lost just one set in four matches en route to the title.

"I just want to say, first of all, really great playing to Kayla and Vicky. You really brought it out there and I wouldn't have rathered to played a doubles final against anybody else. I really want to thank Diana for being such a great doubles partner and for pumping me up," Ngounoue said. 

"I also want to thank my mom, Alexia and also my brother, my dad back home, my sister who's always cheering for me, my family who's watching right now. I know they must be screaming right now. I want to thank team Mouratoglou and my USTA back home. I'm so blessed to be here and I just really thank God for this opportunity and this experience."

 

 

Ngounoue is the first American to win the junior girls' doubles title in Australia since Carson Branstine in 2017 (who later went on to represent Canada) and the fourth since 2010. In 2012, Gabrielle Andrews and Taylor Townsend won the title as an all-American team. She is the second USTA Excellence Team member to win a major title in as many Grand Slams, after Robin Montgomery won the girls' singles and doubles titles at the US Open last summer.

National Junior Tennis and Learning (NJTL) youth are chosen to participate in the USTA Foundation Excellence Team program based on their elite level of tennis ability, educational outcomes and commitment to the pathway to become student-athletes at the collegiate and professional levels. The participants, high-achieving junior tennis players from under-resourced populations who would otherwise never have the chance to even play, are provided additional resources for their coaching, equipment and tournament travel at no cost.

 

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