Who is Hannah Klugman? Meet the British teenager who has just claimed a breakthrough win
Hannah Klugman created tennis history when she won the prestigious Orange Bowl title in Florida on Sunday, adding to the growing hype around the 14-year-old Brit.
The historic under-18 tournament ranks alongside the Grand Slams as one of the biggest events in the junior game, with recent winners including major champions Coco Gauff, Bianca Andreescu and Sofia Kenin.
Klugman defeated top seed Laura Samsonova in the quarter-finals and fourth seed Iva Jovic in the last four before a 6-3, 6-3 success against American Tyra Grant in the final on Sunday.
She is the first British player to win the main girls’ title having finished runner-up in the under-14 tournament last year.
“It’s an amazing feeling,” said Klugman after her win in Florida. “I played 14s last year and made the final. I was really gutted I didn’t get the win, and obviously to get the win at under-18s, I’m still just 14, it’s incredible. This is still just part of the journey, a little step, but it’s nice.
“I was walking past the poster with all the great players (who have won). I saw Coco Gauff. It’s good that I can be on that board. It doesn’t mean anything in the big picture but hopefully I can make it.
“I’ve been so strong on court. I was a match point down in one of my matches and also stepping up on those big points. I think I’m really taking on the shots, being aggressive. But for sure it’s my mentality, staying calm out there.”
WHO IS HANNAH KLUGMAN?
Born on February 18th 2009, Klugman has been making waves in the junior tennis ranks for some time.
Kingston-born Klugman now lives in Wimbledon and is supported by the LTA’s Men and Women’s Programme. She is coached by Ben Haran and trains at the Reeds Tennis School, Cobham.
Klugman was just three years old when she took up tennis as she was inspired to play by her older sisters. Her tennis idols are Emma Raducanu and Ashleigh Barty and her other hobbies include playing hockey.
KLUGMAN’S ACHIEVEMENTS IN 2023
Klugman was one of the stars at the LTA Junior National Championships in April of this year after she claimed victory in the 16Us event and finished runner-up in the 18U.
She went on to come through qualifying to reach the second round at Junior Roland Garros, reached the third round at Junior Wimbledon and the last eight at the US Open junior event.
In her first women’s professional matches, she made the quarter-final at the W25 Nottingham and then took former world No.135 Lesley Pattinama Kerkhove to three sets in Ilkley.
She went on to become the youngster player to qualify for a W100 event on the ITF World Tennis Tour, after coming through the qualifying round in Shrewsbury in October.
Her current WTA ranking is at No 666, with her junior ranking set to leap after his impressive win at the Orange Bowl.
READ MORE: What is Coco Gauff’s net worth after record-breaking earnings in 2023 and new deals with Rolex and UPS
IN HER OWN WORDS
Klugman spoke to the media after she reached the doubles final at Junior Wimbledon last summer and it was clear that playing at the All England Club was a dream come true.
“I used to come to with my mum when I was five and always loved it,” said Klugman. “Watching Andy Murray win it’s definitely my standout memory.
“I’d love to win Wimbledon – 100 per cent and that’s a massive goal.
“I love the buzz, it’s crazy – it’s tough to relax a little bit more.
“I’m still at school at Wimbledon High School, who are really good to me at letting me go out and play more tennis and go to tournaments.
“I love seeing my friends at school and chatting to people who aren’t always in tennis to take myself away from it.”
WHAT COMES NEXT?
Comparisons with Emma Raducanu are inevitable for a British media pack keen to see the emergence of a new superstar, but that kind of hype is not needed right now for Klugman.
This level-headed player appreciates the need to make a steady rise up the tennis ladder and making the leap from the junior ranks to the professional circuit is always a tough task.
Raducanu’s own success story highlights the challenge of building on early success in your career, with her meteoric rise impossible to sustain after her 2021 US Open win.
Klugman will learn from that and while all the signs suggest she can be a player who breaks into the top 100 of the WTA rankings and should aim for so much more, these are still very early days for this impressively mature player.
There is no doubt that Klugman is a talent to watch over the next few years, but she does not need the hype machine to move into overdrive at this formative stage of her career.
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