Tennis - Clervie Ngounoue: The Cameroonian star lighting up the American sky

Tennis - Clervie Ngounoue: The Cameroonian star lighting up the American sky

Born in the United States to Cameroonian parents, 16-year-old Clervie Ngounoue won the junior doubles title at the French Open on 10 June. Here's a profile of the world's number one junior women's tennis player.

Clervie Ngounoue is a rising star in the world of tennis. Her recent victory at the French Open on 10 June 2023 reinforced her status as one of the sport's most promising young talents. The 16-year-old won the women's doubles title in Paris with her partner Tyra Grant. Seeded sixth, they beat top seed Alina Korneeva, who had already been crowned singles champion, and Sarah Saito (6-3, 6-2) in the final.

Ngounoue now number one in the world

This victory is the second junior Grand Slam title for Clervie Ngounoue after her triumph at last year's Australian Open with Diana Shnaider. A product of the Metropolitan Tennis and Education Group USTA Foundation NJTL chapter of Silver Spring and the USTA Foundation Excellence Team, she is now the number one junior in the world. Her partner, Grant, can't believe it: "For my first Grand Slam tournament, it was a great experience. I'm so happy to have been able to play doubles with Clervie... It was incredible. It was incredible."

Tyra Grant and Clervie Ngounoue win the doubles title at the junior French Open.

Family support

But who is Clervie Ngounoue really? She is a promising young tennis player born in Washington DC, USA, to Cameroonian parents. From an early age, Clervie showed an innate talent for the sport. Her family recognised her potential and supported her dream of becoming a professional tennis player. Her father, Aimé Ngounoue, is one of the technicians with whom she trains. And he never fails to encourage her in her fierce determination to succeed. I'm grateful for the unwavering support I've received," admits Clervie on her official website. I grew up in a very healthy family environment. My parents have always given priority to my education and have always ensured a good balance between time spent with the family, school and tennis.

In addition to her family, Clervie Ngounoue's coaches also play an essential role in her development. According to them, the Cameroonian possesses incredible athletic qualities and a strong competitive spirit. What sets her apart is her mental strength and her ability to stay focused even in high-pressure situations. Clervie's style of play is characterised by powerful groundstrokes, exceptional court coverage and an acute tactical sense. Her ability to adapt her game to different surfaces has been noted by tennis experts, making her a formidable opponent on any court.

In the footsteps of the Williams sisters

"Beyond her natural qualities and the power of her game, I was immediately impressed by her determination, personality and maturity. I'm convinced she has everything it takes to reach the highest level. Her results already confirm my expectations," confirms Patrick Mouratoglou, founder of the Mouratoglou Tennis Academy where she recently trained.

If Clervie Ngounoue is training and progressing so quickly, it's because she has so many goals in mind. In particular, to have a career as rich in trophies as her two idols, the Williams sisters. "Serena and Venus Williams are my source of inspiration and motivation. I wanted to put their photos on my wall all the time and it's those people I want to follow in their footsteps," says the youngster.

Although winning the French Open was a remarkable achievement, she is keeping her feet on the ground and concentrating on her long-term goals. She aspires to continue improving her game and succeeding at professional level, with the ambition of being an inspiration to the generations that will come after her. It's an important thing for me and I try to speak to people through my game as much as possible," Ngounoue tells itftennis.com. Inspiring others has motivated me for a very long time, so I hope I can continue to do that."

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