The final day of the 2021 United States Tennis Association Billie Jean King Girls’ 18s National Championships in Point Loma will be a day sixth-seeded Ashlyn Krueger will never forget.
The 17-year-old from Lewisville, Texas, played inspired tennis for one-hour and 38 minutes on a warm, sunny day at Barnes Tennis Center and outlasted seventh-seeded Reese Brantmeier of Whitewater, Wis., 6-2, 7-6 (3) to win the Girls’ 18s singles title.
After holding serve to open the match before a large crowd on Stadium Court, Krueger broke the 16-year-old Brantmeier at love to take a 2-0 lead. With the momentum in her favor, Krueger scored two additional service breaks and wrapped up the first set in 30 minutes.
In the second set, Brantmeier picked up the level of her game, holding serve and staying even with Krueger. At 4-4, Krueger fended off three break points and held for a 5-4 lead.
Three games later, Brantmeier, serving to stay in the match at 5-6, fought off a match point and eventually held serve to send the second set to a deciding tie-break.
Krueger quickly jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the tiebreaker, but Brantmeier mounted a spirited comeback to tie the score at 3-3 as the near-capacity crowd cheered loudly.
Any hopes of a third set were quickly extinguished as Krueger won the last four points in a row to close out the match and secure the victory.
After the title match, tennis legend Billie Jean King presented Krueger with a USTA gold ball for winning the national championship. In addition, Krueger will receive a wild card into the Women’s Singles main draw of the upcoming US Open.
“I'm just super happy and excited. I'm just ecstatic about the future,” Krueger said. “I just played within myself. She (Brantmeier) played amazing. She served really good. I just had to hang in there.”
Later in the afternoon, Krueger captured her second tournament title of the day as she teamed with Robin Montgomery to win the Girls’ 18s doubles championship. The top-seeded duo of Krueger and Montgomery eased past the 11th seeded team of Elvina Kalieva of Delray Beach, Fla., and Elise Wagle of Schenectady, N.Y., 6-0, 6-1 in 51 minutes.
Montgomery and Krueger were awarded a USTA gold ball following their victory. The Girls’ 18s doubles champions will also receive a wild card into the Women’s Doubles main draw at the US Open.
To view all final tournament draws, click here. To view the official tournament website, go to: www.ustagirlsnationals.com.