Gibson, Walker, Preston into 16/u quarterfinals
Top seed Talia Gibson, third seed Lara Walker and 14/u champion Taylah Preston win through to the quarterfinals of the 16/u Australian Championships in Melbourne,
A straight sets win to Talia Gibson on Thursday has sent the top seed into the quarterfinals at the 16/u Australian Championships.
Gibson’s 6-1 7-6 win over wildcard Ashleigh Simes sets up a meeting in the last eight with Elena Micic, a 6-4 6-3 winner of 14/u runner-up Jessie Culley.
This is the third event Gibson is contesting at this year’s December Showdown; the 15-year-old from Western Australia won two matches in the group stage of the 18/u championships, and pushed Destanee Aiava in the second set of their first-round match at the AO Play-off.
The player who defeated Culley in that 14/u final, Taylah Preston, motored into the quarterfinals of the 16/u tournament following a 6-2 6-1 win over lucky loser Madison Schwartz.
Preston, a wildcard into the event, will next face another lucky loser in Ella Nurkic, who beat Jessica Glavas by an identical scoreline.
Third seed Lara Walker helped restore some order to a draw rife with upsets when she beat qualifier Mia Tsoukalas 6-2 6-3.
Yet second seed Meeka Marshall was eliminated in the second round, going down 6-4 6-3 to qualifier Roisin Toireasa Gilheany.
Walker will next face qualifier Catherine Aulia, while Gilheany takes on sixth seed Lauren Nikoloski.
In the boys’ event, seven of the top eight seeds advanced to the quarterfinal stage.
Leading the way was James McCabe, the No.1 seed who saw off qualifier Doni Gashi 6-0 7-5.
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"I started tennis when I was two-and-a-half. My Dad brought me down to the tennis courts, near where we live, to see what I could do. I could hit a ball over the net, so that's where it all started. I think I could rally when I was three; wheelchair champion David Hall also lived near the courts – we used to rally when I was very young. I'm good friends with him. I stopped tennis for a few years and won nationals in swimming, but came back when I was 13. I enjoyed tennis a lot more – I love training, the hard work, I love the fight, love the grit. Basically everything about it. It's just really fun to play. When I took part in Super 10s I got to toss the coin for the Australian Open 2013 semifinals on Rod Laver between Novak Djokovic and David Ferrer. I watch tennis a lot, especially highlights. I like watching Jannik Sinner because of his game style – it's just like bang, hit, in two shots it's basically gone. But I also like watching the Big Three. They seem to love the sport more, they fight a lot harder to stay up where they are, despite how old they are now. It's amazing what they've done, really. And they're still winning Grand Slams. You see all their hard work and it's paying off. Playing in the 18/u event at the December Showdown was amazing, especially to get ball boys every single match and all lines called. You get to play the top 18-year-olds in the country, so it's a really good experience. After I lost in the quarters I went back home, trained for a bit, worked on the things I needed to work on, and came back here for the 16/u championships. My goal is to win multiple Grand Slams. A very big goal, but hopefully.” – James McCabe, recipient of Kia’s Most Driven 18/u award. @kiaaustralia | #KiaTennis
He’ll next face Casey Hoole, after the sixth seed came through two tiebreaks to defeat Matthew Burton.
No.2 seed Cooper White eased to a 6-3 6-1 win over Jeremy Jin while No.3 seed Philip Sekulic was dominant in a 6-0 6-1 win over Lachlan Brain.
Sekulic next plays eighth seed Ethan Dunn — a 6-4 6-2 winner over Leon Hemmings — while White takes on Ethan Cook, the only unseeded player remaining in the draw.
Meanwhile, fourth seed Edward Winter and No.5 seed Derek Pham set up a quarterfinal clash following straight-sets wins on Thursday.
In the 12/u championships, No.2 seed Jamie Mackenzie is the highest seed left in the boys’ event after top seed Gautham Santhosh was upset in the third round on Thursday.
Santhosh fell 6-3 5-7 6-4 to Japanese 13th seed Ryuto Suzuki, while Mackenzie advanced to the quarterfinals with a 6-0 6-1 win over Nicholas Baker.
In the girls’ 12/u tournament, top three seeds Alana Subasic, Emily Glavas and Rianna Alame all progressed to the last eight at Melbourne Park.