06 Jul 2012

Finding a way to the finals

News Article

Luke Saville (AUS)

Despite a lengthy rain delay the juniors were able to get on court to play singles semifinal matches on Friday to set up the upcoming finals.

Third-seeded Elina Svitolina of Ukraine will take on fifth-seeded Eugenie Bouchard of Canada in the girls’ final on Saturday. Svitolina took down 14th-seeded Francoise Abanda of Canada 64 36 62 in one semifinal. Bouchard sent 11th-seeded Anett Kontaveit of Estonia packing 76(3) 64.

In the boys’ final on Sunday, top-seeded Luke Saville of Australia will be facing fourth-seeded Filip Peliwo of Canada.

Saville, already a two-time junior boys’ Grand Slam champion, took care of third-seeded Gianluigi Quinzi of Italy 63 64. Peliwo, a three-time Grand Slam finalist this season, saved five match points in his match to prevail over the eighth-seeded Mitchell Krueger of USA 57 76(3) 63.

All the competitors today had to hang out and keep themselves entertained for a number of hours before the rain stopped.

“It was difficult because I was waiting for my match because of the rain,” Svitolina said. “And they changed my match because we were supposed to play the second match. And it was difficult to go into the match for a few games.”

“It’s not too bad, I won,” Saville said. “It was a tough day with the rain and everything. Wait around for five or so hours.I didn’t do too much. I chilled out and relaxed. Early this morning when I came here I went for a run with my coach.”

The 17-year-old Svitolina is playing in her first Grand Slam junior tournament since 2010. Back in that year she won the Roland Garros girls’ trophy. “I’m so happy that I passed the semifinals and it’s a great feeling that I will play again in a junior Grand Slam final,” Svitolina said after the match. “I was feeling good with the way I was playing.”

Svitolina was the player who took the chances in the match. She made 28 unforced errors to 19 for Abanda. However, taking the risks allowed her 35 winners to only 22 for Abanda.

The Ukrainian was looking forward to facing Bouchard in the final. “I think it will be a good match and I will try to show my game,” Svitolina said. “I will try to play good. Two years ago I played here and lost first round which was not so good. And now I like to play here. I like to play everywhere -- I like to play on clay and hard and grass. I cannot say where I prefer to play.”

As for the 18-year-old Bouchard, the Canadian reached her first career Grand Slam junior final in her third appearance in a semifinal. Bouchard posted 33 winners and only 12 unforced errors in comparison to 21 unforced errors for Kontaveit.

Saville is clearly the standout player of this generation of junior boys with Peliwo close behind. Saville is the Wimbledon defending champion and the reigning Australian Open champion. He also reached the 2011 Australian Open final.

“I’m looking forward to the final,” Saville said. “I’m thrilled to be in my second final of the year. My record in the finals is pretty good.”

Saville served five aces, got 81 percent of his first serves into play, and won 77 percent of those first serve points in the 66-minute match. “I came out there and played a great match,” Saville said. “It was pretty straightforward. I’m thrilled to be in the final.”

Saville also played Peliwo in the Australian Open final for the title. They had quite the battle before Saville posted the victory with a 63 57 64 win.

“I’m looking forward to the challenge,” Saville said. “I’m going to play Filip again, who I played in the final of the Australian Open. I’m just going to go out and play my best and hope it’s good enough for the day.”

The 18-year-old Peliwo lost to Kimmer Coppejans of Belgium at Roland Garros. He’s hoping to play Saville better than he did in Australia. The two have played twice before for a 1-1 head-to-head, but Saville won their bigger match.

“It’s going to be a good match,” Peliwo said. “I’m going to go for my shots and play loose. I’m the underdog and I have nothing to lose and he has all the pressure to defend the title. If I lose, I’ve made three final so it’s not the end of the world. I just want to go for my shots and not play passively.”