Youth Olympic Games: Kaja Juvan wins two gold medals to write history


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Youth Olympic Games: Kaja Juvan wins two gold medals to write history

Just a day after she won the doubles gold medal together with Iga Swiatek, the 17-year-old Slovenian has become the singles champion as well in Buenos Aires, defeating the 7th seed Clara Burel 7-5 6-4 to become the first tennis player at the Youth Olympic Games with two gold medals. In that doubles title match, Kaja hurt her right leg at the end of the second set but she managed to overcome the pain and bring the encounter home in the match tie break.

She couldn't avoid problems in the singles final as well, injuring her left ankle in the seventh game of the second set but fighting towards the end to wrap up the win in straight sets to become a champion. This is the first junior event for Kaja since Junior Masters in last October as she switched her focus to pro career, winning three titles in 2018 and entering the Top 200.

For Burel, this was the third big loss in 2018, already finishing runner-up at the Australian Open and the US Open but giving her best to battle against Juvan until the very last point before falling in two sets to settle for the silver.

It was an entertaining match right from the start, with both girls showing a lot of variety and a court coverage, with Clara drawing first blood in game three when she earned a break with a deep return. The French girl saved two break points in the following game and she painted a backhand down the line winner to move 3-1 ahead and confirm a break.

Juvan was in a big trouble after a double fault that cost her another break in game five, trailing 4-1 and having a lot of work to be done if she wanted to return on the positive side of the scoreboard. Kaja pulled one break back in the next game when Burel sprayed a forehand error and she held at love in the seventh game to reduce the deficit to 4-3.

From 40-15 up in the next game, Burel lost four points in a row to suffer another break and bring Juvan back to 4-4 after a costly double fault. A service winner moved the Slovenian 5-4 up and she saved three break points in the 11th game to stay ahead, forcing Burel to serve for staying in the opener.

The Slovenian grabbed a break with a beautiful lob winner and she claimed six of the last seven games for a complete turnaround and a 7-5 after 45 minutes. Kaja saved break points in the third game of the second set and she broke in game six with a return winner for a 4-2, making a huge step towards the gold medal.

Things looked much worse for her just a few minutes later after that fall and ankle injury, suffering a break to bring Clara back into contention. She was forced to take a medical timeout and that helped her to stay in the match, breaking Clara again in the next game with a forehand winner for a 5-3 to serve for the title.

Burel broke back to prolong the match but Kaja grabbed another break in game 10 to cross the finish line and start a huge celebration of her second gold in Buenos Aires. Girls' singles gold medal match:

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