Da Silva-Fick, Dellavedova claim 16/u titles
Gabriella Da Silva-Fick and Matthew Dellavedova are the 16/u Australian champions after impressive displays on finals day at Melbourne Park.
Gabriella Da Silva-Fick and Matthew Dellavedova claimed the 16/u titles at the 2016 Australian Championships with straight-sets final victories on the last day of this summer’s December Showdown.
New South Wales’s Da Silva-Fick, the tournament top seed, downed fifth seed Selina Turulja with a pitch-perfect display in the girls’ final at Melbourne Park, playing on the front foot throughout to seal a 6-2 6-2 win.
Turulja, who beat 14/u champion Olivia Gadecki in the semifinals, asked plenty of questions of Da Silva-Fick with her steady play and changes of pace from the baseline.
But time and again the top seed had the answers, firing a barrage of forehand winners to close out the first set
The 16-year-old showed some fine touch from the midcourt with a drop shot winner to open up an early break at the start of the second, breaking once more en route to the title.
“It was a really tough match – I always have tough matches against Selina – and I think I played the best I have throughout the tournament,” Da Silva-Fick said.
“I was really happy with how mentally tough I was. I had to be really tough on myself and be really disciplined.
“When we play all the professional tournaments in Australia, like the Futures, we have to keep our standard up when we play these tournaments. It’s another junior, but the standard is so high that you have to be really tough.”
No doubt Dellavedova agrees. The second seed fended off a spirited fightback from top seed Alex Crnokrak to secure the boys’ title 6-3 7-6(4) after a lung-busting affair packed with lengthy rallies that pushed both players to all corners of the court.
Dellavedova, whose one-handed backhand is a sight to behold, assumed the role of aggressor from the outset as he dictated the rallies and opened up an early lead, fending off two break-back points at 5-3 before finishing the first set with a forehand winner.
The match seemed to be motoring the Victorian’s way as he opened up a double break early in the second set, but Crnokrak injected some extra venom into his flat drives to find a way back into the match.
“I was 3-0, 40-15 serving and he played some good points and broke back,” Dellavedova said.
With Thanasi Kokkinakis watching from the stands, the chance to serve for the title at 5-4 came and went amid a flurry of tight errors, all while his opponent grew in confidence.
“He made me work for it – my legs were feeling it,” Dellavedova added. “To his credit, he played really good tennis.”
The tiebreak was finely balanced at 4-4 when Crnokrak cracked first during another extended rally, framing a forehand into the stands. Dellavedova sensed his moment, firing an ace past the Queenslander to close out a hard-earned win.
“I needed to let out a bit of frustration and then refocus, try and think of the top players, how they would handle it,” Dellavedova said.
“But that’s tennis – it’s a rollercoaster. It’s going to be up and down all the way through the match. I just try to stay positive and tell myself the right things.”