Henrik Wiersholm, a 13-year-old from Kirkland, Wash., captured the boys’ singles title at Les Petits As in Tarbes, France on Sunday, defeating Bogdan Borza of Romania 6-2, 5-7, 6-3, to become the first American boy to win the prestigious 14 -and-under title since Chase Buchanan in 2005, and just the seventh American boy to win the championship since the tournament’s inception in 1983. Wiersholm was competing as part of a USTA contingent that competed in two premier international junior tournaments for players 14 and under in Europe in January–the AEGON Junior International two weeks ago in Bolton, England, and Les Petits As last week.
Wiersholm joins a list of former Les Petits As champions that includes Rafael Nadal, Kim Clijsters, Michael Chang, Martina Hingis, Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Donald Young, while Lindsay Davenport was a finalist in 1990.
The number-two seed Wiersholm dropped only one set in the tournament and prior to Sunday’s final, Wiersholm had lost only 17 games through five matches. Wiersholm, the 2010 USTA Boys’ 14s National Championships runner-up, also reached the final of the AEGON Junior International two weeks ago, where he lost to fellow American Stefan Kozlov 5-7, 7-5, 6-2. Kozlov was the top seed in Tarbes and reached the quarterfinals.
Wiersholm and Kozlov also partnered together to win the AEGON Junior International doubles title. In addition to Wiersholm and Kozlov, Francis Tiafoe of College Park, Md., reached the semifinals in France, giving him semifinal finishes in both European events.
Julia O’Loughlin, a 13-year-old from Boca Raton, Fla., had the best showing of the American girls at Les Petits As, reaching the quarterfinals in singles.
Other Americans selected by the USTA to compete in the European tournaments include Eduardo Nava of Woodland Hills, Calif.; Nicole Frenkel of Winchester, Mass.; Kenadi Hance of Torrance, Calif.; and Carolyn Xie of Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.