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Tournament Summary
Osuigwe Stands Tall at Junior Orange Bowl
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Whitney Osuigwe began the Junior Orange Bowl 12s tournament unseeded, but that didn't keep the 12-year-old from ending it as a champion last week in sunny Miami, Florida.

Orange Bowl 12s Champion Whitney Osuigwe
© ZooTennis.com
Osuigwe, who trains at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, avenged a recent loss to Japan's Himari Sato, one of eight No. 1 seeds in the Junior Orange Bowl 12s, by posting a 6-4, 6-4 win in the championship match at the University of Miami's Neil Schiff Tennis Center.

After trailing 3-1 in the opening set, Osuigwe began seeing the dividends of a strategy she'd developed after her third round Eddie Herr loss to Sato, the eventual champion.

"I was smarter this time, knowing what to do after I had lost to her last time," said Osuigwe, who did not drop a set in her seven victories. "I knew what works and what doesn't and I used my forehand more in hitting heavy spin balls to her backhand side."

Sato began to contribute uncharacteristic errors to Osuigwe's cause, and after a tight first half of the second set, Sato was broken, giving Osuigwe an opportunity to serve out the match at 5-3. She was unable to do that, however, and she had a few choice words for herself during that changeover.

"I told myself some negative things," said Osuigwe, who admitted difficulty keeping her focus when she was so close to the finish line. But she regrouped, breaking Sato to earn what she called her best win ever.

"It feels good, because I've been trying to win it for three years," said Osuigwe, who has been invited to travel with the USTA to the Bolton Teen Tennis and Les Petits As tournaments next month.

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Page updated on Monday, March 11, 2019
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