Everyone is aware of American Claire Lui’s 2017 Wimbledon Juniors heroic victory. However, in 2016 she was dumped out of the tournament in straight sets by Ukraine’s Dayana Yastremska. Revenge was on the mind of Liu as the pair locked horns in the 1st round of Fuzion 100 Manchester Trophy.
Liu and Yastremska on Their Way to Better Things
Like others before them, this Manchester ITF tournament is indubitably a stepping stone to WTA regularity for both of players. This tie of the round was a treat for the Manchester crowd, as neither 18-year-old held anything back. Revenge was a dish best served under a cloudy Manchester sky for Liu, who prevailed 7-6 6-4.
Claire Liu had Revenge Hunger Firing Her On
It was high-energy affair, but Liu just wanted it more. It’s almost as though the success of Cici Bellis and Amanda Anisimova has allowed her to step away from the spotlight. The pressure is off, for now. Liu is a natural on grass, possessing the agility of Steffi Graf, at times. Ironically, despite holding a victory over Liu on grass, Yastremska never looked comfortable on this surface. Her clay game has come on leaps and bounds and this seems to be her focus now. What a difference two years makes.
Evgeniya Rodina or Maryna Zanevska up Next for Claire Liu
The American talent takes on either Russian 6th seed, Rodina, or Belgium’s Zanevska in the 2nd round. Liu seeks to bolster her grass court credentials, building further on her junior form–which took her to World #1 in the juniors last year. However, all that is a distant memory as she seeks to establish herself on the pro circuit.
Today’s victory over Yastremska showed maturity and patience. She’ll need more of that in Round 2. There is no head-to-head between Claire Liu and either of her potential next round opponents. Already, at this early stage in her career, grass seems to be Liu’s best surface. She will go into her next match with the confidence boost that revenge gives you.
Liu Looking to Wimbledon
Coaches Henner Nehles and Mike Gennette have kept Claire Liu well-grounded. This incorporates entering tournaments like this to provide match experience on grass. There is every chance she will return to the scene of her greatest triumph and make waves as a professional. Sure she has to put a disappointing 2nd round qualifying loss at Roland Garros behind her. That said, she looks a natural on grass and is in no rush to prove herself on the WTA circuit. No risk of burnout here, success will come.
No title yet this year means that the prodigious talent will look to rectify that anomaly. There’s no better place to start than Manchester.
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