Tereza Mihalikova defeated No.14 seed Katie Swan, 6-1, 6-4, on Saturday to be crowned a surprise Australian Open girls' singles champion.
WTA Staff

MELBOURNE, Australia - Tereza Mihalikova was crowned a surprise champion at Melbourne Park on Saturday as she swept aside Katie Swan in the girls' singles final.

Going into the tournament, the unseeded Mihalikova, who had never previously been beyond the second round at a major, was not among the favorites for the title. But the 16-year-old has come of age Down Under, rising to the occasion on Rod Laver to defeat No.14 seed Swan, 6-1, 6-4.

"I'm really happy that I won," Mihalikova said. "I can't express my feelings. It's just unbelievable.

"When I was going to Australia, I was like, 'Okay, I believe in myself. I can make a good result.' I was just enjoying every match and I was trying to play my best tennis."

Swan, 15, was bidding to become Great Britain's first junior Grand Slam champion since Heather Watson's triumph at the US Open in 2009, and was hampered by both nerves and a leg injury early on.

While her opponent was struggling to get to grips with the occasion, Mihalikova was busy building a healthy lead, pocketing the first set after barely half an hour. Swan had reached the final with a dramatic win over Hungary's Dalma Galfi in which she saved three match points, and showed some more of this fighting spirit at the start of the second, winning the first three games.

However, hopes of a comeback began to fade when a leg injury forced her off court for a medical timeout. Once play resumed, she quickly lost her way as the Slovak moved to within a game of victory. Swan continued to fight, saving two match points, but Mihalikova was not to be denied, firing a forehand winner on her third match point.

"When she went to the medical, I sat to the chair and I said, 'Okay, Tereza, come on, win this in two sets'," Mihalikova said. "I'm happy I did it."