Two Americans, Alexandra Yepifanova and Emilio Nava, made it into the junior singles finals at the US Open but fell at the last hurdle on Sunday.
It's been a really great week for me — I'm just so happy and thankful for this, I can't believe I won Maria Camila Osorio Serrano
Instead, Colombia’s Maria Camila Osorio Serrano saved her best for last, putting in a devastating performance to defeat the qualifier, Yepifanova, 6-1 6-0, to claim her maiden Grand Slam title at her last junior major.
“It’s unreal,” Osorio Serrano said told reporters after the match. “It’s been a really great week for me — I’m just so happy and thankful for this, I can’t believe I won.”
The No 4-seeded Colombian was in charge from the get-go of Sunday’s final on Court 17, opening the match with an ace to serve notice that she wasn’t experiencing any fatigue from Saturday’s double-header in Queens.
The same could not be said for Yepifanova, who struggled to find her footing after battling through 2 three-setters to reach the final on Saturday in New York.
Osorio was determined in her goal of winning a major junior title, after falling in the semi-finals of both the US Open last year and the French Open this year.
She broke for 2-0 in the opening set with a forehand volley winner into the open court that was met with a cacophony of cheers from a lively crowd of Colombian spectators.
Yepifanova broke in the 3rd game with a crosscourt backhand winner to close for 2-1, but it would prove to be the only game she would win in the final.
Osorio Serrano rolled through the next 10 games as the Colombians’ cheers from the bleachers inside Court 17 only got louder, stroking an ace down the T to lock up the victory in just 48 minutes.
She dropped to her knees, the tears starting to fall, as the cheers grew louder.
It had taken only 23 minutes for Osorio to capture the first set, holding with a good first serve after saving 2 break points at 5-1.
She won 60 of 93 points in the final and broke Yepifanova in all 6 of her service games.
“I have been working really hard on my serve, because I think that is one of the things that I really need to work on to be a pro….I am really focused on that,” said Osorio, who hit 5 aces in the match, including the one on championship point.
“She was a really aggressive player, so I was thinking of moving her a lot. Also put a lot of first serves in, because she is going to attack my second serve.”
Osorio had needed 5 sets to win her quarter-final and semi-final matches Saturday, while Yepifanova had come through 6, and both had their left thighs wrapped at the start of the match.
“I was tired too, but I was just focused on moving a lot,” Osorio said.
“There was a lot of people from Colombia cheering for me,” she added of the support she received all week from her fans.
“I’m really thankful for this and I want to thank them because the whole week they have been supporting.”
Yepifanova also admitted that her surprising run this week had worn her down by the time she played the final.
“Obviously this wasn’t my best match, and I think I she played good, credit to her,” said Yepifanova, who now lives in Bradenton Florida.
“I don’t think it was a 1 & 0 match; I was up 40-15, 40-30, ad out most of the games and I just couldn’t convert them.
“I think I played low quality tennis on important points, which made a huge difference.
“She is quick, and her ball is heavier than girls I played yesterday. I was slower, I was heavy on court and easy shots weren’t going in today.”
Osorio, the first Colombian to win a junior Grand Slam singles title, is heading back to Colombia for a few weeks, before returning to the United States to play some $60,000 tournaments this autumn.
Already moving into the WTA Top 250 after 2 titles in $25,000 tournaments last month, Osorio is aiming for the Australian Open women’s qualifying.
Yepifanova said she is re-thinking her schedule after her results this week.
Originally planning to play the ITF Junior Circuit Grade B1 in Kentucky next month, along with some $25,000 events, she may opt to concentrate on the Pro Circuit before playing the major Florida junior events that close out the year.
Kamilla Bartone of Latvia & Oksana Selekhmeteva of Russia claimed the girls’ doubles title with a 7-5 7-6 win over Aubane Droguet & Selena Janicijevic of France.