Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Saville sets up rare junior double

Updated July 07, 2012 09:28:48

Australian top seed Luke Saville has advanced to the final in defence of his Wimbledon junior crown.

Saville, the world's top-ranked junior, outclassed Italian third seed Gianluigi Quinzi 6-3, 6-4 and faces an Australian Open final rematch on Sunday with Canadian fourth seed Filip Peliwo.

The 18-year-old South Australian won that Melbourne Park encounter so will be bidding to join the likes of Swedish all-time great Stefan Edberg as a triple junior grand slam champion.

Tennis great John Newcombe applauded Saville for "putting himself out there" to try to defend his title, unlike fellow Australian Ashleigh Barty, who won the girls' title last year but returned home after being knocked out in the first round of the women's singles last week.

Other prodigies like Lleyton Hewitt and Bernard Tomic ditched the juniors for the pro ranks much earlier in their careers, but Newcombe believes Saville has made the right call to stick around for one more year before taking on the big boys.

Saville is hoping to become the first player since 1974 to go back-to-back in the boys' championship at the All England Club.

"It would be absolutely huge," Saville said.

"To have my name on the honour board already is huge, but I'd love to have it on there twice - it hasn't happened in something like 38 years."

The boom teenager was forced to wait an age for the rain to stop before he could get down to business in his semi-final.

But he put the delay to good use, drawing strength from Carlton's upset victory over Collingwood at the MCG.

"I closed my eyes for a little bit and probably waited around for about five hours and watched my footy team - Carlton - win beforehand so that made me pretty happy," Saville said.

"I was trying to play a little bit like Chris Judd out there."

Although he'll be favourite to retain his title, Saville has plenty of respect for his final foe.

"He's a really good player. This will be his third (grand slam) final of the year. He made the final of the French Open as well.

"But I played really good against him at the Australian Open, so it gives me great confidence."

Reaching the final once again completes a tumultuous fortnight for Saville, who had to endure the devastation of being scratched from the men's qualifying at Wimbledon due to an administrative blunder.

The exciting youngster was granted a wildcard into qualifying but the All England Club withdrew the invitation because he'd double-booked himself into a Futures tournament in Germany.

"It was very unfortunate, but there was nothing I could have done about it when they told me about it," Saville said.

"Once that was done, there was no point dwelling on it. It was in the past."


Tags: sport, tennis, united-kingdom

First posted July 07, 2012 08:41:12

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