19 Nov 2017

Noel upsets Osuigwe to win Mexico City title

News Article

By Sandra Harwitt

Photo: Jorge ReyesWhitney Osuigwe (USA), Alexa Noel (USA)

Unseeded Alexa Noel continued her sensational run at the Abierto Juvenil Mexicano by upsetting fellow American and world No. 1 Whitney Osuigwe 62 64 to win the biggest title of her junior career on Saturday.

The 15-year-old Noel, who arrived in Mexico City as the No. 161 ranked junior girl, went through the draw without the loss of a set in six matches played.

This marked the first meeting between Noel and fellow 15-year-old Osuigwe, the reigning French Open champion. Osuigwe is trying to hold onto her world No. 1 ranking through the end of the season. This is the second consecutive Grade A tournament where Osuigwe failed to take the title after reaching the final, which she also did at the Osaka Mayor’s Cup last month.

It was a doubly disappointing day for Osuigwe, who also ended up on the wrong side of the doubles final. In an all-USA final, the unseeded team of Dalayna Hewitt and Peyton Stearns upset top seeds Ellie Douglas and Whitney Osuigwe 64 63 to take the girls’ doubles trophy.

Noel began life in Scottsdale, Arizona, where she lived until she was five-years-old when the family moved to Toronto, Canada. It was in Toronto that Noel first encountered the game of tennis and immediately begged her father to play. Father-and-daughter would often take to the local courts at the public park, and the more she played, the more she wanted to improve and stick with the sport.

At the age of nine, the Noel family moved back stateside, relocating to the town of Summit, New Jersey, where the first order of business was finding a place for young Alexa to train.

Noel is passionate about tennis and the great variety she has in her game has helped her excel. In terms of previous titles, she won the USTA Girls’ 14 National Clay Court Championships and the Orange Bowl 14-years-old trophy.

In the boys’ semifinal, it appeared that top seed Sebastian Korda might be shown to the exit after he lost the first set to fifth seed Thiago Agustin Tirante. In the end, Korda rebounded to post a 46 76 (3) 63 win over the Argentine to secure his final berth.

The No. 26-ranked Korda, the son of former Australian Open champion Petr Korda, will be looking for his first title of the year when he takes on unseeded fellow American Drew Baird in the final.

The No. 192-ranked Baird earned his passage into the final with a 76 (2) 76 (1) upset of 13th seed Filip Cristian Jianu of Romania.

Baird has won two Grade 4 titles this season at the International Grass Courts in June and the Copa Merengue in July.

This will be the third meeting between the two 17-year-olds. Their two previous outings took place in 2015 with Korda winning both.

The top-seeded pairing of Korda and Nicolas Mejia of Colombia captured the boys’ doubles title with a 63 62 win over seventh seeded Americans Andrew Fenty and William Woodall.