The singles and doubles finals are set for the 18/u Australian Championships, being played at Melbourne Park this week.
Lachlan Vickery has powered his way into the 18/u Australian Championships boys’ singles final in dramatic fashion.
The 18-year-old from Queensland saved a match point on the way to a 6-7(2) 7-6(6) 6-0 win over South Australia’s Alexander Despoja in semifinal action during the December Showdown at Melbourne Park today.
Vickery spoke about the confidence gained by fighting his way out of a difficult second-set tiebreak.
“I thought I’d lost to be honest. I somehow hit a volley winner to save match point and I just got a heap of confidence from that,” Vickery said.
“It feels really good. I’ve been playing for the past month, so to keep backing it up and to do it at the December Showdown, where I keep playing three setters, is awesome.
“I’ve learnt at this tournament about how important the mental side is. To always come back and it teaches that a routine is so important.”
He will take on second seed Pavle Marinkov in the final.
Marinkov downed fellow New South Wales player Jeremy Zhang 6-4 6-4 in a two-and-a-half-hour battle.
Stefani Webb continues to fly the local flag for Victoria in the girls’ singles competition, advancing to the final when Alana Subasic retired in their semifinal clash.
The 17-year-old Webb was leading 6-2 4-0 at the time.
“I feel like I have a lot of confidence in myself at the moment and it’s a good feeling to hold off those challenges when they come,” said Webb, who has dropped just 20 games in five matches.
Webb now takes on Elim Yan of South Australia, who knocked out top seed Anja Nayar of Queensland in the other semifinal.
Yan dominated the first set, before Nayar fought back hard to level the match. But Yan was able to break twice in the third set to close it out 6-2 6-7(3) 6-2.
“Showdown is my favourite event, so this is awesome,” said 17-year-old Yan.
18 and under Australian Championships
Boys’ singles, semifinals
 Lachlan Vickery (Qld) d Alexander Despoja (SA) 6-7(2) 7-6(6) 6-0
 Pavle Marinkov (NSW) d  Jeremy Zhang (NSW) 6-4 6-4
Girls’ singles, semifinals
 Elim Yan (SA) d  Anja Nayar (Qld) 6-2 6-7(3) 6-2
 Stefani Webb (Vic) d  Alana Subasic (NSW) 6-2 4-0 ret.
Boys’ doubles, semifinals
 Cooper Errey (Vic)/Marcus Schoeman (Qld) d  Alec Braund (Qld)/Thomas Gadecki (Qld) 6-2 6-4
Jiayang Dong (NSW)/Taj Hibbert (NSW) d  Alexander Despoja (SA)/Jeremy Zhang (NSW) 6-3 3-6 [12-10]
Girls’ doubles, semifinals
 Anja Nayar (Qld)/Stefani Webb (Vic) d Jessie Culley (WA)/Ella Nurkic (WA) 6-3 6-4
 Cassidy Mataia (Qld)/Elim Yan (SA) d Ashlee Narker (NSW)/Taya Powell (NSW) 6-4 6-4
Boys’ singles, final
 Lachlan Vickery (Qld) v  Pavle Marinkov (NSW)
Girls’ singles, final
 Elim Yan (SA) v  Stefani Webb (Vic)
Boys’ doubles, final
 Cooper Errey (Vic)/Marcus Schoeman (Qld) v Jiayang Dong (NSW)/Taj Hibbert (NSW)
Girls’ doubles, final
 Anja Nayar (Qld)/Stefani Webb (Vic) v  Cassidy Mataia (Qld)/Elim Yan (SA)
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!