2018 U18 Australian Champion.: Crnokrak and Hijikata set final clash


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2018 U18 Australian Champion.: Crnokrak and Hijikata set final clash

The U18 Australian Championships at Melbourne Park has reached the title match after the semi-final encounters that were completed on Friday. The 7th seed and the last year's winner Alexander Crnokrak is through to another final after a 6-1 6-7 6-1 triumph over the 6th seed Ken Cavrak. Crnokrak was in full control after a break in the second set but Cavrak found the way to bounce back, starting to play more aggressively and pulling the break back to grab the set in the tie break.

Nonetheless, Alexander was the dominant figure on the court in the deciding set, racing towards the finish line and securing the place in the title match where he will face the 2nd seed Rinky Hijikata. In the battle of the highest seeds left in the draw, Hijikata took down Dane Sweeny 6-1 6-4, continuing his amazing form and scoring the fourth straight sets win to stand as the favorite against Crnokrak as well.

The top seed Gabriella Da Silva-Fick struggled in the quarter-final match but she was at the top of her game in the semis, destroying a qualifier Taylah Lawless 6-3 6-0 to set the final clash against Olivia Gadecki on Saturday.

“I thought the conditions were very tricky today … he beat me the last two times so I knew it was gonna be a tough match,” Crnokrak said. “The second set I knew he was gonna come back. It was really close the whole time … He hit some amazing shots to get back in (it).

I just thought, if I keep playing my game, surely he can’t keep hitting these winners. I was serving first in the third set which kind of helped because I held the first game and I saw he was a little bit shaky. It was the first time all week the 18-year-old Queenslander had dropped a set, a dominance he attributed to excellent serving.

It was apparent in the first and third sets of his triumph over Cavrak; the pace of his delivery frequently caught the Victorian off guard. I think I’ve been serving really well … that puts pressure on the other guy to make sure he serves (well) and it makes me relaxed in their service games,” he said.

Every nationals, when you get to the final, it feels awesome. Knowing that I’ve been here (before) it does make it more special.” Semi-final results:

[7]Alexander Crnokrak vs [6]Ken Cavrak 6-1 6-7(2) 6-1
[2]Rinky Hijikata vs [3]Dane Sweeny 6-1 6-4