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Kulichkova Crowned Junior Champion

Elizaveta Kulichkova waved goodbye to the junior ranks with a dominant victory over Jana Fett in the Australian Open junior girls' final.

Published January 25, 2014 12:11

Kulichkova Crowned Junior Champion
Elizaveta Kulichkova

MELBOURNE, Australia - A few hours before Li Na and Dominika Cibulkova stepped on court for the singles final, the Rod Laver crowd was treated a brief glimpse at the future of the women's game.

But while this year's junior final lasted barely more than an hour, those present cannot help but to have been impressed by its winner, Elizaveta Kulichkova.

Competing on by far the biggest stage of her young career, Kulichkova rose to the occasion like a seasoned campaigner. The Russian is already ranked inside the Top 300 in the seniors and proved to have far too much for her unseeded opponent, Jana Fett, capturing her first junior Grand Slam with a 62 61 win.

"I felt really good. I didn't get nervous like I thought I would and I'm really happy about the way I played," Kulichkova said. "It was probably my best match of the whole week, so it was a great final for me!"

Kulichkova made the perfect start, breaking in the third game to establish and early lead, and from there she never looked back. A further break helped her to the opening set before breezing through a similarly one-sided second.

As the No.4 seed, Kulichkova went into the final as the favorite, and at the match's conclusion there were no wild celebrations.

"I felt before the match, 'I'm going to do this.' I was pretty sure about it and actually I was really confident because I was the girl who was expected to win.

"I mean, I wouldn't be happy if I didn't win. That's why I'm not jumping around and stuff!"

After bowing out of the juniors on a high note, the 17-year-old, who also won the doubles alongside Anhelina Kalinina, is now turning her attention to breaking through in the senior ranks.

"I've got two more tournaments here in Australia, then I'll come back to Thailand for probably one month to prepare for some more pro tournaments in India.

"I want to be somewhere around the Top 100 at the end of this year. That would be perfect. But I don't hurry, you know. I'm happy about how it's going now, so just I'll continue my work and I'll see what happens."

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