Aussie junior Saville beaten at Open
Affected by illness, Australian giant-killer Luke Saville fell at the last hurdle when he went down in the final of the Australian junior championships. UPDATED.
Affected by illness, Australian giant-killer Luke Saville fell at the last hurdle when he went down in the final of the Australian junior championships.
The 16-year-old was beaten 6-0 6-3 by top seeded Czech Jiri Vesely.
Saville was unseeded but caused a series of upsets throughout the tournament, including dumping second seed Dominic Thiem of Austria in the second round.
But he played the final after a sleepless night with stomach problems and congestion and after the first set was treated briefly by a doctor on court.
“I was physically not 100 per cent but that’s taking absolutely nothing away from him,” Saville said.
“If I was 100 per cent I think he’d still be victorious – he was the better player today.
“I was pretty nervous, I slept pretty poorly last night. I was gulping a lot and trying to drink a lot of water and probably playing the match through my head quite a bit as well.
“I was struggling to breathe a little bit, I had quite a bit of phlegm built up in my throat and my stomach was feeling unwell as well.”
However, it was his second final in as many weeks and Saville plans to continue his program of hitting with senior players as much as possible, hoping to be included in the Davis Cup squad this year.
“Hopefully this time next year I’m either playing the juniors or possibly the men’s out there again,” he said.
“It’s a match I’ll try and take all the things I learnt from it and try and build on it.”
Saville said he planned to play the French, Wimbledon and US Grand Slam junior championships and try to transition to the men’s circuit as well.
“I want to try and finish quite high at the end of this year in the ATP and ITF rankings and keep on developing my game and my body.
“I’ve started the year well and it would be good to keep going.
Vesely was impressed by Saville, who defeated the Czech 18 months ago.
“I think Luke is a great player, because when you are playing final of a Grand Slam and you are one year younger than the other guys, then it’s something very big,” Vesely said.
“I think that Luke was playing great tennis here. He beat very good guys, which is very good for him.
“I think that he can win maybe next year the Australian Open.”