Melbourne, Australia, 8 December 2022 | Darren Parkin

Rain interrupted play at the December Showdown this morning, but when the skies cleared, the tennis on display was outstanding.

One of the matches of the day was between Alana Subasic of New South Wales and Western Australia’s Jessie Culley.

Culley impressively took the first set in their quarterfinal showdown of the 18/u Australian Championships, before Subasic seized control and posted a 1-6 6-3 6-3 victory.

Rain halted proceedings with Subasic leading 5-3 40-40 in the second set.

“The rain helped me re-focus,” said Subasic, who at 15 is the youngest player remaining in the draw. “I was two points away from the set and came out and won them straight away.

“It’s a great feeling being the youngest player to get to this stage. It feels amazing.

“I didn’t play my best, but happy I was mentally stronger.”

Subasic moves into a semifinal clash with Victorian Stefani Webb, who lost her first set of the tournament but still prevailed 6-3 1-6 6-1 over Elicia Kim.

Top seed Anja Nayar scored a great 6-2 6-4 victory in her quarterfinal against fellow Queenslander Cassidy Mataia. This sets up a semifinal meeting with South Australian Elim Yan.

> View draws and results from the 18 and under Australian Championships

In boys’ singles action, Pavle Marinkov impressively won 6-3 6-2 in his quarterfinal clash with Thomas Gadecki.

“I knew it would be tough given how well he’s been playing. So I’m thrilled to come out on top,” said Marinkov.

The 16-year-old from New South Wales is enjoying the December Showdown.

“I really like the format, how it is with the round robin. It’s a bit different to our usual elimination stuff,” he said.

“It teaches us what life would be like on tour, coming out every day and having to back up and go again. It’s a good lesson.”

Marinkov meets Jeremy Zhang in the semifinals, who won a terrific 6-4 3-6 6-2 battle against Jiayang Dong.

The other semifinal match-up will be between Lachlan Vickery and Alexander Despoja, who both won epic matches today.

Vickery defeated fellow Queenslander Zane Stevens 6-2 2-6 7-5, while Despoja upset top seed Alec Braund 3-6 6-1 6-4.

18 and under Australian Championships

Boys’ singles, quarterfinals
Alexander Despoja (SA) d [1] Alec Braund (Qld) 3-6 6-1 6-4
[6] Lachlan Vickery (Qld) d Zane Stevens (Qld) 6-2 2-6 7-5
[3] Jeremy Zhang (NSW) d [7] Jiayang Dong (NSW) 6-4 3-6 6-2
[2] Pavle Marinkov (NSW) d [4] Thomas Gadecki (Qld) 6-3 6-2

Girls’ singles, quarterfinals
[1] Anja Nayar (Qld) d Cassidy Mataia (Qld) 6-2 6-4
[5] Elim Yan (SA) d [2] Elena Micic (Vic) 6-3 6-2
[3] Stefani Webb (Vic) d Elicia Kim (Vic) 6-3 1-6 6-1
[4] Alana Subasic (NSW) d [8] Jessie Culley (WA) 1-6 6-3 6-3

Boys’ singles, semifinals
Alexander Despoja (SA) v [6] Lachlan Vickery (Qld)
[3] Jeremy Zhang (NSW) v [2] Pavle Marinkov (NSW)

Girls’ singles, semifinals
[1] Anja Nayar (Qld) v [5] Elim Yan (SA)
[3] Stefani Webb (Vic) v [4] Alana Subasic (NSW)

> View live scores from the December Showdown

The December Showdown, with more than 150 of Australia’s most promising junior athletes competing for national titles, continues at Melbourne Park until 17 December. Entry is free for spectators.

Book online, play today: Visit to get out on court and have some fun!