Melbourne, Australia, 15 December 2023 | Dan Imhoff

Aidan Chan gives nothing away cheaply when it comes to the crunch, so it comes as no surprise Rafael Nadal is the inspiration behind his 12-and-under Australian Junior Tour Masters triumph on Friday.

The second seed from Perth channelled the 22-time major champion’s fight to upstage top seed Tommy Camus 6-1 6-4 at the 2023 December Showdown.

“It’s mixed emotions. I was playing my best friend but it’s pretty cool,” Chan said. “This is my first win at nationals, so that’s nice.

“It was pretty close in the second set, so just putting that extra ball in every time frustrated him and it’s what got me over the line in the end.”

The 12-year-old Chan cites his mindset as arguably his greatest attribute – “probably being able to outwork the other player”.

It proved pivotal as he never wavered under the pump against his Canberra opponent, who sought to follow in older brother Charlie Camus’ footsteps as a champion in the under-12s.

“Rafa chases every ball, never gives up no matter the score. Basically he can do anything he wants really,” Chan says. “I sort of replicate it going for every ball and never giving up.”

Chan joins the likes of Wimbledon 2022 finalist Nick Kyrgios (2008), world No.150 Marc Polmans (2009) and Philip Sekulic (2015), who won his first ATP match at Chengdu this year, as former winners of the event.

“Wow, that’s pretty special,” Chan said when told Kyrgios had won the event. “I’ve seen his face around here (on posters) but didn’t know that.”

In an all unseeded doubles final, Victorian pair Yile Li and Christopher Manton downed the ACT’s Jobe Dikkenberg and Queenslander Christian Joseph 7-5 6-3.

Li and Manton earlier beat top seeds Chan and Camus 6-3 6-7(3) [10-3] in the doubles semifinals, while Dikkenberg and Joseph eased past South Australians Minh-Khiem Nguyen and Elisha Wee 6-3 6-3.


Boys’ singles, final
[2] Aidan Chan (WA) d [1] Tommy Camus (ACT) 6-1 6-4

Boys’ doubles, semifinals
Yile Li (Vic)/Christopher Manton (Vic) d [1] Tommy Camus (ACT)/Aidan Chan (WA) 6-3 6-7(3) [10-3]
Jobe Dikkenberg (ACT)/Christian Joseph (Qld) d Minh-Khiem Nguyen (SA)/Elisha Wee (SA) 6-3 6-3

Boys’ doubles, final
Yile Li (Vic)/Christopher Manton (Vic) d Jobe Dikkenberg (ACT)/Christian Joseph (Qld) 7-5 6-3

> VIEW: 12/u Australian Junior Tour Masters draws

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