Sonton, Winter win through to 14/u quarterfinals
There was more steady progress for the top seeds in the 14/u Australian Championships at Melbourne Park while on Monday main-draw action got underway in the 18/u tournament.
Girls’ second seed Hana Sonton survived a first-set scare to take her place in the quarterfinals of the 14/u Australian Championships at Melbourne Park.
Also advancing was boys’ No.1 seed Edward Winter, who beat Zachary Viiala 6-0 6-3 on Monday.
Sonton eventually ran out a 7-5 6-1 winner over 15th seed Stefi Webb to set up a meeting in the last eight with qualifier Elena Micic.
“I wasn’t playing too well. First set was really up and down. Second set I think I just started playing better,” she said.
“I told myself to focus, I guess. When I’m playing well I just stick to the game style, and then if I’m not and it’s not working, I’ll just change it.”
Sonton won the 12/u Australian Championships at last year’s December Showdown and said that victory gave her some confidence.
“It’s good to be back,” she said. “(This time it’s) under 14s, so it’s going to be harder. Under 12s was more pressure, because it’s my age group.”
Also advancing to the girls’ quarterfinals was No.1 seed Charlotte Kempenaers-Pocz, who beat 13th seed Sienna Leeson 6-0 6-0.
Winter, meanwhile, will face Japan’s Shogo Sanada – last year’s 12/u champion – for a place in the semifinals.
“I feel like I played a pretty good game. Zachary was pretty good throughout the whole match, but I just kept consistent,” he said.
“There’s a little bit of pressure (being the No.1 seed), but I don’t really focus on that too much. It’s just a number.”
In other boys’ results, third seed Jett Leong cemented his place in the quarterfinals with a 6-1 6-1 win over Rohan Srivastava; Leong has dropped a combined total of just five games to reach the last eight.
The first round of group matches were played on Monday at the 18/u Australian championships.
Surprisingly, the top seeds in the boys’ and girls’ events – Jayden Court and Gabriella Da Silva-Fick – suffered straight-sets losses to qualifiers Campbell Salmon and Olivia Symons respectively.
No.2 seed Rinky Hijikata avoided the upset bug with a 6-4 6-2 win over Thomas Bosancic, while third seed Dane Sweeny – the 16/u champion at last year’s December Showdown – was a 6-7 6-3 6-0 winner over Sean Van Rensburg.
There were also victories for No.2 seed Ivana Popovic and Australian Junior Fed Cup representatives Annerly Poulos and Olivia Gadecki.
More than 500 of Australia’s top young athletes representing every state and territory will take to the courts for this year’s December Showdown, held from 1-16 December at Melbourne Park.
The 12/u and 16/u championships begin on 11 and 12 December respectively, while 16 Australian men and women will compete for a main-draw wildcard at the Australian Open 2019 Play-off from 10 December.
For all December Showdown news, draws, scores and the daily order of play, follow this link.