Melbourne, Australia, 14 December 2023 | Dan Imhoff

South Australian Hannah Park will temporarily cast friendship aside after booking a final clash against fourth seed Musemma Cilek at the 2023 December Showdown.

The 12-year-old held off a late-surging Ami Dalla Pozza 7-5 6-4 in the girls’ singles semifinals at the 12-and-under Australian Junior Tour Masters at Melbourne Park on Thursday.

“I’m really happy and then kind of relieved as well to win,” the second seed said. “She just made the balls and I just started hitting unforced errors so that just made me more nervous.”

While thrilled at the prospect of facing a familiar face in the decider, Park knew battle lines would be drawn against Cilek, an earlier 6-4 6-4 victor over top seed and fellow Victorian Eleni Makantasis.

“We’re like best friends, so it’ll be fun to play against her again,” Park said.

“I don’t really notice (playing a friend). I’ll just focus on myself, I don’t really focus on the other player.”

Park would do well to look to her favourite player, Ajla Tomljanovic, in Friday’s girls’ final.

The Australian recently captured her biggest title at a WTA 125 tournament in Florianopolis, Brazil.

“I like her on-court attitude,” Park says. “She’s really calm on court, and you can’t notice if she’s stressed out or not.”

While Tomljanovic is her idol, Park cites a pair of Grand Slam champions for contesting the one match at the Australian Open that has left a lasting impact.

“Probably on TV, (Aryna) Sabalenka and (Elena) Rybakina in this year’s final,” Park says. “They were fighting for every point. There was no giving away loose points and they were just making each other fight, so it was really good to watch.”

In the boys’ 12/u singles semifinals, Canberra’s Tommy Camus narrowly prevailed against Victorian 10th seed Yile Li 6-4 5-7 7-6(7) in a two-hour, 24-minute battle.

Camus will square off against second seed Aidan Chan after the West Australian’s 7-6(11) 6-1 victory over Novak Palombo.

> FOLLOW: Live scores from the 2023 December Showdown


Girls’ singles, semifinals
[2] Hannah Park (SA) d [3] Ami Dalla Pozza (NSW) 7-5 6-4
[4] Musemma Cilek (Vic) d [1] Eleni Makantasis (Vic) 6-4 6-4

Boys’ singles, semifinals
[1] Tommy Camus (ACT) d [10] Yile Li (Vic) 6-4 7-5 7-6(7)
[2] Aidan Chan (WA) d [3] Novak Palombo (Vic) 7-6(11) 6-1

Girls’ doubles, quarterfinals
[1] Musemma Cilek (Vic)/Hannah Park (SA) d Ana Maric (Vic)/Amaya Muench (Qld) 6-1 6-2
[2] Isabel Cairns (ACT)/Eleni Makantasis (Vic) d Emma Esenova (NSW)/Zoe Liang (NSW) 6-2 6-0
[3] Ami Dalla Pozza (NSW)/Mieka Gordon-Threatt (Vic) d Lily Fannin (Qld)/Jesline Lie (NSW) 6-1 6-2
Ava Garner (Qld)/Hope Johns (Qld) d [4] Nahla Salley (SA)/Cleo Taylor (Qld) 6-2 6-4

Boys’ doubles, quarterfinals
[1] Tommy Camus (ACT)/Aidan Chan (WA) d Brody Denny (Qld)/Luke Modra (SA) walkover
Yile Li (Vic)/Christopher Manton (Vic) d [4] Daniel Abar (Qld)/Ayush Salunkhe (Vic) 6-1 3-6 [11-9]
Minh-Khiem Nguyen (SA)/Elisha Wee (SA) d Jiacheng Andrew Chen (NSW)/Vivaan Nehra (Qld) 7-5 7-6(3)
Jobe Dikkenberg (ACT)/Christian Joseph (Qld) d Rafael Fauster (Qld)/Cruz Stevens (Qld) 6-0 6-7(17) [10-7]

Girls’ singles, final
[2] Hannah Park (SA) v [4] Musemma Cilek (Vic)

Boys’ singles, final
[1] Tommy Camus (ACT) v [2] Aidan Chan (WA)

Girls’ doubles, semifinals
[1] Musemma Cilek (Vic)/Hannah Park (SA) v [3] Ami Dalla Pozza (NSW)/Mieka Gordon-Threatt (Vic)
[2] Isabel Cairns (ACT)/Eleni Makantasis (Vic) v Ava Garner (Qld)/Hope Johns (Qld)

Boys’ doubles, semifinals
[1] Tommy Camus (ACT)/Aidan Chan (WA) v Yile Li (Vic)/Christopher Manton (Vic)
Minh-Khiem Nguyen (SA)/Elisha Wee (SA) v Jobe Dikkenberg (ACT)/Christian Joseph (Qld)

> VIEW: 12/u Australian Junior Tour Masters draws

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