Elrich, Fourlis claim 14s national clay titles
Unseeded wildcard Mayez Elrich and girls' fifth seed Jaimee Fourlis have claimed the titles at the 14-and-under National Claycourt Championships in Ipswich.
Unseeded wildcard Mayez Elrich (Chester Hill, NSW) has won his first national junior championship after beating fifth seeded Victorian Lucas Vuradin (Sydenham, VIC) at the 14-and-under National Claycourt Championships at the George Alder Tennis Centre in Ipswich, Queensland.
Elrich, who became the first unseeded player to win a national singles championship since James Palmer won the 14-and-under National Grasscourt Championships in 2010, defeated Vurdin in a closely fought battle 6-0 3-6 6-3 in one hour and 52 minutes.
“We’ve been training for a long time and I thought I could win one eventually and I was playing really well this whole tournament and I was happy to beat a lot of good players here playing my best tennis,” said Elrich, who will leap from his current Australian Ranking of 559 when the next release occurs in May.
Elrich came out of the blocks the better of the two players, playing aggressive tennis to break serve in the opening game of the match and run away with the opening set.
But Vuradin, who was also playing in his first national final, was not planning to let the match slip away, fighting back from an early break of serve in the second set to level the match at a set apiece.
The momentum was with the young Victorian as Vuradin secured the first break of the deciding set to lead 3-2. However, Elrich was able to get break back immediately and run away with the final set, winning the final four games.
“After the second set, I had to relax a bit, regather my thoughts and it was great to come through in the third,” he reflected.
“I can’t wait to attend the December Showdown and the Sydney Nationals and it would be great to try and win both nationals (later this year).”
Fourlis claims girls’ title
In the girls singles final, fifth seeded Victorian Jaimee Fourlis (Preston, VIC) won her second national junior championship after powering past third seed, Petra Hule (Underdale, SA) 6-1 6-2 in 75 minutes.
Fourlis and Hule approached the match playing aggressive tennis, with both recording 21 unforced errors for the match. But it was Fourlis who won the in the winners department, with 22 to eight proving too much for Hule.
“I was pretty nervous at the start, but tried to be aggressive throughout the match and I thought I did that pretty well and used my tactics to try and beat Petra,” said Fourlis, who is currently ranked No.184 in the Australian Rankings.
Fourlis has now added this title to the 12-and-under National Grasscourt Championship she won in Mildura last year and will be aiming for similar success for the remainder of the year.
“I go off to Malaysia soon to play for Australia in the World Junior Teams qualifying event which will be exciting and I am very happy (to have been chosen),” she said.
Fourlis also combined with Aleksa Cveticanin (Wishart, QLD) to win the girls doubles title. Seeded fifth, the pair defeated unseeded Queensland duo Shan-Ying Barr (Taigum, QLD) and Ammaarah Tim (Oxley, QLD) 6-1 6-3 in 80 minutes.
In the boys doubles final, Liam Bishop (Angle Vale, SA) and Stefan Skadarka (Altona Meadows, VIC) proved too good for Louis Corker (Dalkeith, WA) and Nelson Roso (Geelong, VIC).
In an all-unseeded final, Bishop and Skadarka triumphed 6-4 6-1 in 75 minutes.
The next 14-and-under National Junior Championship will be the Spring Nationals, to be held at Sydney Olympic Park Tennis Centre in Homebush, NSW on 25-30 September.