Melbourne, Australia, 10 December 2022 | Darren Parkin

Emerging star Stefani Webb capped off a great week with a commanding 6-3 6-1 win in the 18/u Australian Championships girls’ singles final at Melbourne Park today.

Her final opponent was Elim Yan of South Australia, who had produced several hard-fought victories during the week to reach a well-deserved final.

But 17-year-old Webb proved too strong and claimed the national title in her home state.

“I hope I did Victoria proud. I’m just stoked to do it here,” Webb said.

Webb dropped just 24 games across six singles matches throughout this week’s December Showdown and also teamed with Queensland’s Anja Nayar to win the girls’ doubles title.

The Victorian teen spoke about the challenges of balancing studies with her burgeoning tennis career.

“It’s been a really hard year balancing year 12 studies with everything else. I’ve been hitting an hour a day,” she said.

“To finish the year like this is just amazing.”

Things are happening very quickly for Webb, who has a busy two months ahead.

“I’ll probably play one or two (ITF) 25k events in December, and after that it’s the Australian Open juniors,” she said.

“At the end of January I leave to head off to college in Florida, so it’s all a bit crazy.”

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

New South Wales’ Pavle Marinkov won the 18/u Australian Championships boys’ singles final today in less than an hour.

Marinkov continued his barnstorming form – he won all 12 sets he contested this week and only once dropped more than four games in any of those sets – to overpower Queensland’s Lachlan Vickery 6-1 6-1.

“I just made sure to prepare really well for what was the biggest match of my life so far,” said Marinkov.

“This is the best three months of my sporting life and I can’t believe it to be honest.”

The 16-year-old Marinkov will take a little break for Christmas, before launching into January.

“That’s it for me this year. I’ll take a few days off before getting ready for Traralgon and the Australian Open juniors,” he said.

Marinkov’s family travelled down for today’s final, which gave him an extra boost at the end of a long week.

“It was great to have the family fly down this morning,” he said. “I’m going to really enjoy this with them.”

Victorian Cooper Errey and Queensland’s Marcus Schoeman won the boys’ doubles title.

18 and under Australian Championships

Boys’ singles, final
[2] Pavle Marinkov (NSW) d [6] Lachlan Vickery (Qld) 6-1 6-1

Girls’ singles, final
[3] Stefani Webb (Vic) d [5] Elim Yan (SA) 6-3 6-1

Boys’ doubles, final
[4] Cooper Errey (Vic)/Marcus Schoeman (Qld) d Jiayang Dong (NSW)/Taj Hibbert (NSW) 6-2 6-2

Girls’ doubles, final
[1] Anja Nayar (Qld)/Stefani Webb (Vic) d [3] Cassidy Mataia (Qld)/Elim Yan (SA) 3-6 6-1 [10-5]

> READ: 14/u Australian Invitational Masters champions crowned

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.

> View live scores from the December Showdown

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