The US Open crowd is back for the 2021 edition of the tournament, and Americans in attendance will have a new star to support on the grounds in teen sensation Ashlyn Krueger. At 17 years old, Krueger earned wildcards in both singles and doubles (with compatriot Robin Montgemery) after sweeping the USTA National Championships earlier this summer.

The two-time Orange Bowl champion will play qualifier and former world No. 26 Anna Karolina Schmiedlova in what will be her first Grand Slam main draw on Tuesday.

“The simple things are what will excite me the most,” she told in a pre-tournament interview. “like being able to experience the crowd and just playing on the court.”

Krueger grew up in Springfield, Missouri before moving to Texas, where her tennis really took off.

“My mom played college tennis and she started everything for me,” she said. “It’s an independent sport and I’m a pretty independent person, so it’s a perfect combo for me. I just stuck with it and kept going. I don’t really even think I thought about anything more serious in tennis until I was about 14 or 15. I just had fun playing.”


The fun has continued onto the elite junior circuit, where she became the first since Bianca Andreescu to win the back-to-back titles at the Orange Bowl, first in the 16s and then in the 18s.

Standing at 6’1”, Krueger considers herself an all-court player with a formidable serve and net game, and trains at the USTA National Campus in Orlando with coach Michael Joyce. Joyce has previously worked with the likes of Maria Sharapova and Jessica Pegula.

In New York for the first time, the US Open was always appointment viewing for the Krueger family.

“I watched the US Open on TV every year, so it’s definitely the highlight Slam. I remember Bianca vs Serena Williams was a fun match to watch, as was Osaka and Serena the year before. Those were recent, but…” she trails off with a laugh.

Her favorite player to watch was Kim Clijsters, who won her first major title in 2005—a year after Krueger was born. Feel old yet?


“She’d be a dream doubles partner,” Krueger said. “She’s been an idol for me, for sure.”

Off the court, Krueger draws and reads poetry, joking of the latter, “I don’t know if people can relate to that!”

When pumping herself up for matches, Krueger has some intriguingly indie tastes, opting for a little Tame Impala before taking the court.

“That’s ok, you can look it up,” she adds to reassure the embarrassingly out-of-touch interviewer.

There’ll be no lack of energy or atmosphere when Krueger takes on Schmiedlova, the fulfillment of a lifelong dream.

“I think I cried a little bit when I got the wildcard, because it was a very overwhelming experience. But I’m super excited just to be here in general, walking around and enjoying everything to the fullest.”