Liu wins Florence Open
In a quick one hour and four minutes, 19-year-old Claire Liu breezed to straight set 6-1, 6-2 victory over fellow American Peyton Stearns in Sunday’s championship finals of the 2019 McLeod for Health Florence Open played at the Dr. Eddie Floyd Florence Tennis Center.
With the victory, the Thousand Oaks, Calif., native received a check for $3,935.
Liu was ranked the number one junior tennis player in the world in 2017 before suffering an injury. She entered the tournament as the seventh seed and proved herself a top contender for the title, winning every single set of her five matches. Stearns was unranked entering the tournament.
In Saturday’s doubles championship finals, the second-seeded team of Emina Bektas and Tara Moore defeated the third-seeded team of Oliva Tjandramulia and Marcela Zacarias in straight sets, 7-5, 6-4.
In Saturday’s singles semifinals, Stearns defeated fifth-seeded Hanna Chang, who retired with an injury after losing the first set, 6-1. Liu defeated No. 2 seed Marina Melnikova 6-2, 6-1 to advance to the finals.
Last year’s McLeod Florence Open champion, Bianca Andreescu, captured the U.S. Open title in August, defeating Serena Williams in the finals.
The McLeod for Health Florence Open is a US Tennis Association Pro Circuit event that attracts talented tennis stars from all over the world to compete for $25,000 in prize money. The net proceeds from the tournament are donated to Susan G. Komen South Carolina.