Eight days after Coco Gauff captured the first Grand Slam title of her career at the US Open, another 19-year-old American has had her own breakthrough run, as Ashlyn Krueger captured the first WTA title of her career in Osaka, Japan on Sunday.
She had only ever won two tour-level matches in her career before this, reaching the quarterfinals of the WTA 250 grass-court event in ’s-Hertogenbosch earlier this year. But she caught fire in Osaka, a WTA 250 hard-court event, winning five matches in a row—all of them in straight sets.
Krueger capped her dream week with a 6-3, 7-6 (6) victory over No. 1 seed Zhu Lin in the final, and it was quite the serving display—she held all 11 of her service games, never even facing a break point, and won 80% of her first serve points (and an even more impressive 68% of her second serve points). She grabbed the only break of the match early in the first set.
Her victory over the No. 35-ranked Zhu was the third Top 50 win of her career, having beaten a No. 29-ranked Aliaksandra Sasnovich in San Diego qualifying last year, as well as a No. 19-ranked Victoria Azarenka in ’s-Hertogenbosch this year.
Ranked No. 123 coming into this week, Krueger is projected to break into the Top 100 for the first time when the new WTA rankings come out on Monday. She’ll be the youngest American woman in the Top 100, and one of two American teenagers in the elite alongside current world No. 3 Gauff.