Double Delight For Konjuh In Juniors
Published January 27, 2013 12:58
MELBOURNE, Australia - Eight years ago, a 15-year-old Eastern European with big groundstrokes and an even bigger appetite for victory lifted both the girls' singles and doubles titles in Melbourne Park.
That trophy-laden weekend proved a sign of things to come for Victoria Azarenka, who, on Saturday evening took home the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup for the second year in succession.
A few hours before Azarenka stepped on court for her dramatic final with Li Na, another 15-year-old Eastern European, Ana Konjuh, was busy making her first impression on the Rod Laver faithful by adding the girls' singles title to the doubles one she picked up a day earlier.
Konjuh entered the final on a 17-match winning run, stretching back to November of last year, and made a confident start, breaking her 16-year-old Czech opponent, Katerina Siniakova, to love in the opening game as she raced into a 3-0 lead.
The rest of the set followed a similar pattern, Konjuh dictating play from the baseline before closing it out with an ace after just 26 minutes.
She was unable to build on this momentum at the start of the second set, though, wasting three early break points before dropping her own serve as she slipped 4-1 behind.
Unperturbed by this setback, Konjuh continued to play the more adventurous tennis, and was rewarded for this ambition as she reeled off five games in a row to close out a 63 64 victory.
"Just the feeling is incredible. That experience, the crowd, you know, it's all a big thing," Konjuh said. "I was just trying to focus on my game, you know, not to look at the crowd and other things.
"I just hope in the future I'm going to come back here and do well for many more years."
As a result of her win, Konjuh will rise to No.1 in the junior rankings on Monday, capping off a dream fortnight that also saw her lift the doubles title alongside Canada's Carol Zhao.