Boys’ top seed Nikola Milojevic continued his winning ways on Wednesday after toppling Austrian Lucas Miedler 6-4 6-2 to advance to the quarterfinals of Australian Open 2013 junior championships.
Milojevic is riding a phenomenal win streak, having won 22 of his past 23 matches stemming back to the US Open juniors in September 2012.
The Serb took only one hour and 13 minutes to get past Miedler despite overcoming a relatively slow start and gusty winds.
“I was definitely nervous in the first set. I mean, when you play the third round of a Grand Slam you’re respecting your opponent and you know you need to play good tennis to win the match,” Milojevic said.
“(Miedler) is a tough player, and it was extremely windy on the court so there were a lot of breaks and tough games early.”
Milojevic grabbed a crucial break at 3-3 in the opening set and promptly held serve to take all the momentum. He was able to step into Miedler’s loopy second serve, regularly ending points quickly via swift returns down the line deep into the corner.
After winning the first set 6-4 – despite squandering a handful of set points – Milojevic surged forward in the second stanza, eventually sealing the match with a classy second serve ace down the T.
“After the first set I felt more relaxed and that I could go for my shots and play more aggressive, and that really helped me finish the match,” Milojevic said.
“If I repeat the way I played in that second set I really think I can have a good result here.”
Meanwhile, it was a sound day for Australian pair Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis who both won their singles matches in straight sets.
Kokkinakis – who defeated Frenchman Enzo Couacaud 6-2 6-0 – breezed through the opening set in only 27 minutes aided by Couacaud’s mere 35 per cent first serve efficiency.
The second set was even worse for the Frenchman who was dominated at the baseline, unable to contain the sheer power and accuracy of his opponent.
“Today I actually felt like I played a good match and I just played confidently, executed the game plan and I’m just happy to be into the quarters,” Kokkinakis said after the match
“You’ve got to come into (the tournament) thinking you can win it ... I just believed in my game today.”
As for third-seeded Kyrgios, he faced fellow countryman and former doubles partner Omar Jasika and won 6-4 6-3. It was the 17-year-old’s bold play that got him over the line – while his 30 unforced errors looked bad on paper, they were tempered by 23 winners compared to his opponent’s eight.
In other boys’ results, seventh seed Wayne Montgomery made light work of Croat Franko Miocic 6-3 6-1 while second-seeded Gianluigi Quinzi from Italy got past Hugo Di Feo 6-1 6-4 in just 56 minutes.
In the girls’ draw, third seed Ana Konjuh dominated American counterpart Alexandra Kiick in a remarkable 44 minutes to surge into the quarterfinals. Kiick’s serve was her ultimate undoing, who won a mere 13 per cent of first serve points and struggled to apply any pressure on her opponent.
The victory now puts Konjuh’s win streak at 15, an impressive run that includes a title at the Orange Bowl last December.
Fourth-seeded German Antonia Lottner also advanced to the quarterfinals Wednesday morning after toppling China’s Ziyue Sun 7-6(1) 6-1. After a close tussle in the opener, Lottner was immediately broken to start the second set via a flurry of groundstrokes landing well past the baseline. But the 16-year-old would not be rattled, reeling off the next six games to grab the victory.
Second-seeded Czech Katerina Siniakova – runner-up to Konjuh in the 2012 Orange Bowl – also made light work of Croatia’s Adrijana Lekaj while Elise Mertens from Belgium toppled Ipek Soylu. Both girls won in straight sets and took under an hour.