Mildura, 28 February 2011 |

The Optus 12u and Optus 14u National Grasscourt Champions were crowned at the Mildura Lawn Tennis Club over the weekend.

No.6 seed Alexei Popyrin, (Pymble, NSW), defeated the 10th seed Richard Yang, (Lower Templestowe, Vic), 7-5 7-6(4) to be crowned the 12u boys’ champion while Victorian No.7 seed Michelle Pits took out the girls’ 12u title over No.8 seed Kimberly Birrell, (Hope Island, Qld), 3-6 6-4 6-3.

On his way to the final, Popyrin defeated fellow NSW player and the No.1 seed Max Purcell in the semifinals, 1-6 6-4 6-2, and No. 4 seed Chase Ferguson in his quarterfinal match. Purcell had not previously lost a set in the tournament and had only dropped nine games.

Popyrin’s family has been based in Europe where he has been playing Tennis Europe events. The junior has just recently returned to Sydney where he is now working with National Academy Sydney.

In the Optus 12u National Grasscourt girls event, Pitts overcame the No.3 seed Sasha Bollweg (Parkwood, WA) in the quarterfinals and then upset the No.2 seed Audrey Teo (Berwick, Vic), 6-4 6-4, to progress to the final.

In the 14u boys event No.6 seed Omar Jasika (Endeavour Hills, Vic), was crowned National Grasscourt singles champion defeating No.12 seed Socrates Tsoronis 6-3 6-4.

Jasika also scored wins over the No.5 seed, Benjamin Dallinger and No.4 seed Jake Delaney in the quarterfinals and semifinals.

In the girls event, No.5 seed Naiktha Bains (Qld) won the 14u National Grasscourt title defeating No.2 seed Stephanie Yamada (Chatswood, NSW) 6-0 6-1.

Bains did not drop a set for the entire tournament and posted wins against the No.3 seed Anja Dokic (Tuart Hill, WA) in the quarterfinals and No.1seed Isabelle Wallace (East Bentleigh, Vic) in the semifinals.

This year was the first time the Optus National Grasscourt Championships took place alongside the Mildura Grand International, a Pro Tour event.

The 2011 Optus Nationals 12u and 14u grasscourt champions