Resilient juniors rewarded in 16/u Australian Championships
Inclement weather isn't dampening the spirits of competitors, including Victoria's Jarrod Joyce, at the 2022 December Showdown.
The next generation of Australian tennis talent have shown versatility, patience and resilience to battle through some inclement conditions at Melbourne Park this week.
The round-robin stage of the 16/u Australian Championships continued at the December Showdown today, with four-game sets introduced in an attempt to clear a backlog of matches. Many competitors also played multiple matches.
Alex Morris of New South Wales showed his resolve to win a see-sawing 1-4 4-2 4-2 encounter with Queensland’s Kuma Ito in the boys’ singles competition.
“I hate playing short sets but the weather is a joke,” Morris said with a laugh.
“Good to get through the matches and well done to the tournament for helping us all get through.
“This is my first time here and it’s my first time playing nationals, so it has been great fun.”
Morris models his game on world No.8 and five-time Grand Slam quarterfinalist Andrey Rublev.
“I think Andrey Rublev is someone I can learn from. My coach and I think if I’m attacking with my forehand I can play a similar style,” said the 16-year-old.
“I’ve got to get into the mindset of trying to win a match and not protect against losing it.”
Giselle Guillen, the fifth seed in the girls’ singles competition, believes shortened matches increases pressure.
“The shorter sets are challenging because you have to be on from the first point,” Guillen noted.
The 14-year-old from New South Wales fought hard to get past Western Australia’s Alice Stevens 4-2 5-3 in the windy conditions today.
“I got through it, the wind was strong but it is good to face these challenges,” she said.
“I love Melbourne and I love playing here. The chance to play nationals teaches you a lot of lessons.”
Guillen dreams of emulating Ash Barty, who received a record fifth Newcombe Medal earlier this week.
“I’d love to play like Ash. Her fight and spirit and the way she varies the ball is so great,” Guillen said. “She slices, goes with top spin and can crack a winner. I love doing that, so I’ve tried to model my game that way.”
Western Australia’s Sara Nikolic, who won the 14/u Australian Invitational Masters title last week, continued her impressive form with a 1-4 4-0 4-1 victory over New South Wales’ Susannah Su.
Tournament organisers are hoping to complete all round-robin matches today, with knock-out quarterfinals scheduled to begin from tomorrow.
16 and under Australian Championships
Girls’ singles, round-robin
 Giselle Guillen (NSW) d  Alice Stevens (WA) 4-2 5-3
 Giselle Guillen (NSW) d Nicola Schoeman (QLD) 4-2 4-1
 Bridget Mihulka (Vic) d Juliet Santitto (Qld) 4-2 4-2
 Elizabeth Ivanov (NSW) d Kate Smith (Vic) 5-4(6) 4-1
 Sara Nikolic (WA) d Susannah Su (NSW) 1-4 4-0 4-1
 Diana Badalyan (SA) d Christina Dodaj (Vic) 4-1 4-1
Rianna Alame (NSW) d  Angela Cui (NSW) 5-4(8) 5-3
Nicola Schoeman (QLD) d Chanel Awkar (NSW) 4-0 2-4 4-2
Jovana Petrovic (Qld) d Wambui Taylor (ACT) 1-4 5-3 4-2
Elektra Arseniou (NSW) d Sarah Mildren (SA) 4-2 4-0
Boys’ singles, round-robin
 Thomas Gadecki (Qld) d  Finley Dyer (NSW) 4-2 4-1
 Thomas Gadecki (Qld) d Scott Black (WA) 4-2 4-1
 Hugh Winter (SA) d  Oliver James King (Qld) 4-2 2-4 4-2
 Hugh Winter (SA) d Christian Caldwell (Qld) 4-0 4-0
 Zane Stevens (Qld) d Joel Hieswanto (NSW) 4-1 5-4(4)
 Lachlan McFadzean (NSW) d  Radu Cojocaru (Qld) 4-1 4-0
 Lachlan McFadzean (NSW) d Cooper Kose (Vic) 5-3 4-1
 Noah Brownrigg (Qld) d  Boyd Schreiber (NSW) 4-2 3-5 4-1
 Jarrod Joyce (Vic) d  Jerome Estephan (NSW) 4-2 4-0
 Jarrod Joyce (Vic) d Abass Kenneh (QLD) 4-2 1-4 4-0
 Alex Morris (NSW) d Kuma Ito (Qld) 1-4 4-2 4-2
 Brendan Loh (SA) d Daniel Jovanovski (Vic) 5-3 4-2
 Rohan Hazratwala (Qld) d Myron Papadimitrious (NSW) 5-3 4-2
 Rohan Hazratwala (Qld) d  Brendan Loh (SA) 2-4 5-3 ret.
 Boyd Schreiber (NSW) d Luca Connaughton (Vic) walkover
 Christian Salmeron (SA) d Luka Filip Vujacic (WA) 4-0 4-1
 Diordan Macababbad (Vic) d Archie Brown (WA) 5-3 4-0
 Oliver James King (Qld) d Sam Simmonds (Vic) 5-4(4) 4-2
 Finley Dyer (NSW) d Gautham Santhosh (Qld) 4-1 4-2
Gautham Santhosh (Qld) d Scott Black (WA) 4-1 4-0
Billy Williams (SA) d Abass Kenneh (QLD) 4-2 1-4 4-0
Callum Hewitson (SA) d Luca Connaughton (Vic) walkover
Aiden Lim Shi Feng (SA) d Cooper Kose (Vic) 2-4 5-3 4-1
Sam Simmonds (Vic) d Christian Caldwell (Qld) 2-4 4-1 4-2
Daniel Jovanovski (Vic) d Myron Papadimitrious (NSW) 4-2 5-4(2)
STILL TO PLAY
Girls’ singles, round-robin
 Gabby Gregg (NSW) v  Charlotte Vanstone McGrath (Vic)
 Audrey Aulia (NSW) v Miranda Xu (NSW)
 Isabella Crossman (Vic) v  Peyton Duckett (WA)
 Bridget Mihulka (Vic) v  Angela Cui (NSW)
 Gabrielle Villegas (Vic) v Ava-Monet Sycamore (NSW)
 Elizabeth Ivanov (NSW) v  Sara Nikolic (WA)
 Shiori Takeda (NSW) v Audrey Newman (QLD)
 Alice Stevens (WA) v Chanel Awkar (NSW)
 Kristina Tai (SA) v Amelia Zylberman (Vic)
Kate Smith (Vic) v Susannah Su (NSW)
Juliet Santitto (Qld) v Rianna Alame (NSW)
Helena Guan (Qld) v Talia Edgar (WA)
Boys’ singles, round-robin
 Zane Stephens (Qld) v Ashton McLeod (NSW)
 Noah Brownrigg (Qld) v Callum Hewitson (SA)
 Alex Morris (NSW) v  Christian Salmeron (SA)
 Brendan Loh (SA) v Daniel Jovanovski (Vic)
 Jerome Estephan (NSW) v Billy Williams (SA)
 Radu Cojocaru (Qld) v Aiden Lim Shi Feng (SA)
Kuma Ito (Qld) v Luka Filip Vujacic (WA)
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 play.tennis.com.au to get out on court and have some fun!