Villegas advances to 16/u Australian Championships singles final
Victorian Gabrielle Villegas has charged into the girls' singles final at this week's December Showdown at Melbourne Park.
The match-ups for tomorrow’s 16/u Australian Championships singles finals have been confirmed.
Gabrielle Villegas is looking to wrap a perfect bow on her 2022 season at the December Showdown at Melbourne Park this week.
The 15-year-old produced a hard-fought semifinal win today over fellow Victorian Isabella Crossman 6-1 4-6 6-2.
“I got off to a pretty good start,” Villegas said.
“In the second set I had a really rough start. We just kept breaking each other. (There were) a lot of deuce games, so it was tough to drop that one.
“With new balls in the third set I came out firing, so it was great to regroup and win.”
Villegas is thrilled to be competing at Melbourne Park this week, where she can’t help but dream big.
“It’s amazing, I’m playing on the same courts that my heroes will play on. We can already see some of the stars walking around practicing,” she said.
One such star who will grace Melbourne Park next month, is someone Villegas is drawing inspiration from in her game.
“I really like Iga Swiatek,” she said. “She is really aggressive, fit and fearless. She is mentally and physically tough and a great role model.”
Villegas will take on second seed Gabby Gregg in the final.
Gregg recorded a strong 7-6 (4) 6-4 semifinal win over third seed Audrey Aulia.
The 15-year-old Gregg helped pilot New South Wales to victory in the 15/u Australian Team Championships on the Gold Coast in May and would love to end the year with a singles crown as well.
In the boys’ singles competition, it will be two young men who gained valuable experience playing in an upper age level at the December Showdown last week clashing in tomorrow’s final.
Thomas Gadecki and Brendan Loh both performed well in the 18/u event and are now starring again in their own age group.
Loh got the edge over fellow South Australian Hugh Winter 6-3 6-2 in a very impressive semifinal performance.
“I went into the match just trying to compete. I was happy with the serve and return, I played aggressively and it worked,” he said.
“In the 18s I served for a big match and just couldn’t get it done, so I had to keep my head this time.
“Last week gave me really valuable match experience. I came into the 18s just trying to get used to the conditions, the courts and the atmosphere, so it really helped.”
Loh hopes to match the on-court hustle of his favourite player, Alex de Minaur.
“I’d definitely want to play like Alex. He just hustles and competes and that’s the kind of player I’d like to be,” he said.
The top-seeded Gadecki is enjoying a wonderful fortnight – but had to pull out all of his best play today to hold off a determined Zane Stevens in their semifinal.
Gadecki eventually prevailed 6-1 2-6 6-4 in a two-hour battle.
16 and under Australian Championships
Boys’ singles, semifinals
 Thomas Gadecki (Qld) d  Zane Stevens (Qld) 6-1 2-6 6-4
 Brendan Loh (SA) d  Hugh Winter (SA) 6-3 6-2
Girls’ singles, semifinals
 Gabby Gregg (NSW) d  Audrey Aulia (NSW) 7-6(4) 6-4
 Gabrielle Villegas (Vic) d  Isabella Crossman (Vic) 6-1 4-6 6-2
Boys’ doubles, semifinals
 Lachlan Mcfadzean (NSW)/Boyd Schreiber (NSW) d  Gautham Santhosh (Qld)/Zane Stevens (Qld) 6-3 6-3
 Rohan Hazratwala (Qld)/Oliver James King (Qld) d  Brendan Loh (SA)/Hugh Winter (SA) 6-1 6-3
Girls’ doubles, semifinals
 Audrey Aulia (NSW)/Gabrielle Villegas (Vic) d  Rianna Alame (NSW)/Chanel Awkar (NSW) 6-3 6-4
 Bridget Mihulka (Vic)/Ava-Monet Sycamore (NSW) d  Giselle Guillen (NSW)/Kristina Tai (SA) 6-4 4-6 [10-2]
Boys’ singles, final
 Thomas Gadecki (Qld) v  Brendan Loh (SA)
Girls’ singles, final
 Gabby Gregg (NSW) v  Gabrielle Villegas (Vic)
Boys’ doubles, final
 Lachlan Mcfadzean (NSW)/Boyd Schreiber (NSW) v  Rohan Hazratwala (Qld)/Oliver James King (Qld)
Girls’ doubles, final
 Audrey Aulia (NSW)/Gabrielle Villegas (Vic) v  Bridget Mihulka (Vic)/Ava-Monet Sycamore (NSW)
The annual December Showdown, with more than 150 of Australia’s most promising junior athletes competing for national titles, concludes tomorrow at Melbourne Park. Entry is free for spectators.
Book online, play today: Visit play.tennis.com.au to get out on court and have some fun!