South Australian Hugh Winter has booked his semifinal spot in the 16/u Australian Championships boys’ singles competition.
Inclement weather has impacted play at the December Showdown at Melbourne Park this week, which meant there was a backlog of matches to play in the 16/u Australian Championships today.
A jam-packed schedule featured round of 16 and quarterfinal matches in the boys’ and girls’ singles competitions, making it a long and gruelling day for players.
Hugh Winter, a 16-year-old from South Australia, won two epic encounters to keep his title hopes alive.
The second seed needed nearly two hours to battle past Victorian Daniel Jovanovski 7-5 3-6 [10-6] in the quarterfinals.
Top seed Thomas Gadecki from Queensland is one of the title favourites – and proved why, powering into the semifinals.
“I’m 16, so I’m just enjoying it. This is such an exciting way to start the summer and I can’t wait to keep going,” Gadecki said.
In girls’ singles action, Juliet Santitto of Queensland won back-to-back matches. But fell short in her third match of the day, losing to Audrey Aulia of New South Wales 6-3 6-1.
Santitto reflected on a long day, that stretched well into the evening.
“You have to adjust and dig deep given the challenges, and I feel I did a strong job here,” Santitto said.
“I love playing here, I think it’s my third time here at Melbourne Park now.”
Santitto models her game on former world No.1 Ash Barty.
“She had an awesome slice and a lot of variety. We should try to have a bit of her game,” she said.
Second seed Gabby Gregg ended the amazing run of Western Australia’s Sara Nikolic, who won the 14/u crown last week and swept all the way to the quarterfinals in the older age group.
And in a cliffhanger between two Victorians, it was Isabelle Crossman who shaded Bridget Mihulka 3-6 6-0 [10-7] to set up a spot in the last four.
Crossman will face another Victorian, Gabrielle Villegas, in tomorrow’s semifinals.
16 and under Australian Championships
Boys’ singles, round of 16
 Thomas Gadecki (Qld) d  Oliver James King (Qld) 6-1 6-2
 Hugh Winter (SA) d  Finley Dyer (NSW) 7-6(5) 7-6(1)
 Zane Stevens (Qld) d Aiden Lim Shi Feng (SA) 6-1 6-4
 Lachlan Mcfadzean (NSW) d  Diordan Macababbad (Vic) 6-4 ret.
 Noah Brownrigg (Qld) d  Christian Salmeron (SA) 6-3 7-6(4)
 Brendan Loh (SA) d Kuma Ito (Qld) 6-1 6-3
 Boyd Schreiber (NSW) d Billy Williams (SA) 6-4 6-4
Daniel Jovanovski (Vic) d  Jarrod Joyce (Vic) 6-2 7-6(4)
Girls’ singles, round of 16
 Gabby Gregg (NSW) d Jovana Petrovic (Qld) 6-1 6-0
 Audrey Aulia (NSW) d  Peyton Duckett (WA) 6-3 7-5
 Isabella Crossman (Vic) d  Kristina Tai (SA) 6-3 6-1
 Bridget Mihulka (Vic) d Ava-Monet Sycamore (NSW) 4-6 6-4 [11-9]
 Gabrielle Villegas (Vic) d Susannah Su (NSW) 7-6(3) 6-3
 Sara Nikolic (WA) d  Alice Stevens (WA) 6-2 6-4
 Diana Badalyan (SA) d Helena Guan (Qld) 6-2 6-4
Juliet Santitto (Qld) d  Giselle Guillen (NSW) 6-3 6-3
Boys’ singles, quarterfinals
 Thomas Gadecki (Qld) d  Boyd Schreiber (NSW) 6-1 6-1
 Hugh Winter (SA) d Daniel Jovanovski (Vic) 7-5 3-6 [10-6]
 Zane Stevens (Qld) d  Noah Brownrigg (Qld) 7-6(3) 4-6 [10-5]
 Brendan Loh (SA) d  Lachlan Mcfadzean (NSW) 6-2 6-2
Girls’ singles, quarterfinals
 Gabby Gregg (NSW) d  Sara Nikolic (WA) 7-6(6) 6-2
 Audrey Aulia (NSW) d Juliet Santitto (Qld) 6-3 6-1
 Isabella Crossman (Vic) d  Bridget Mihulka (Vic) 3-6 6-0 [10-7]
 Gabrielle Villegas (Vic) d  Diana Badalyan (SA) 6-2 6-2
Boys’ singles, semifinals
 Thomas Gadecki (Qld) v  Zane Stevens (Qld)
 Hugh Winter (SA) v  Brendan Loh (SA)
Girls’ singles, semifinals
 Gabby Gregg (NSW) v  Audrey Aulia (NSW)
 Isabella Crossman (Vic) v  Gabrielle Villegas (Vic)
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!