Orange Bowl sees British teen Hannah Klugman make history

Hannah Klugman

Hannah Klugman, a 14-year-old British tennis starlet, won the coveted Orange Bowl championship in Florida, solidifying her place among the sport’s most promising future prospects.

Grand Slam champions Coco Gauff, Bianca Andreescu, and Sofia Kenin are among the past winners of the storied U18 tournament, which is considered one of the premier competitions in junior tennis along with the junior Majors.

Before defeating American Tyra Grant 6-3 6-3 in the championship match on Sunday, Klugman upset top seed Laura Samsonova in the quarterfinals and fourth seed Iva Jovic in the last four.

After coming in second in the U14 competition the previous year, she is the first player from Britain to win the main girls’ title.

The schoolgirl’s incredible season came to an end with this victory. She had already advanced to her maiden junior grand slam quarterfinal at the US Open and placed second in the Wimbledon girls’ doubles alongside her fellow countrywoman Isabelle Lacy.

Klugman, a student at Wimbledon High School, works out at Reeds Tennis School in Cobham with Ben Haran.

“I’ve been working with Ben Haran since I was about nine years old. Hopefully he has many more years to come.

“He’s a great coach and we’ve got a great relationship with each other, and I also have Laura Deigman as my fitness coach with me as well,” she told Sky Sports during the junior US Open.

Klugman has developed significantly, both physically and in terms of her perception of her potential on the court.

Sayaka Ishii, the No 7 seed at the time, beat her in the third round at Wimbledon, but in New York, she advanced one step farther and overcame Ishii to reach the quarterfinals.

“I think I played a lot more cleverly – changing it up, slicing, different variation of height and I think that’s what got me the win,” she said at the time.

She has steadily improved in the Slams this season in terms of her ability to attack her opponent and get herself out of tight situations with her potent serve.

“I’m starting to go deeper into the junior Grand Slams, my game’s developing as well,” Klugman said.

“Last year I was struggling a bit more with the junior Grand Slams – it was quite a lot for me. I was quite young but now I’ve got to grips with it and hopefully I can go far.”

Klugman is currently ranked as the No 15 junior women’s player.

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