Brisbane teen Oliver Anderson is planning a surfing holiday after joining the new wave of Australian tennis stars, including Bernard Tomic and Nick Kyrgios, to win the Open boys’ singles title.
The 17-year-old will trade his racquet for his surfboard as he celebrates his rollercoaster 6-2 1-6 6-1 victory over Jurabek Karimov from Uzbekistan at Melbourne Park.
It capped a sterling day for Australian tennis with Alex De Minaur and Anderson’s Melbourne room-mate Blake Ellis combining earlier to win the boys’ doubles title.
Tomic won the junior singles in 2008 and Luke Saville in 2012, while Kyrgios beat another local rising star Thanasi Kokkinakis in the 2013 final.
Rod Laver, John Newcombe and Tony Roche are some of the former greats to also hold the trophy aloft.
Anderson got off to a flying start but a troublesome hip injury flared and Karimov took advantage to race through the second.
After being treated by a trainer, Anderson looked in better shape and got his error count back under control to break Karimov early and regain control of the match.
“I had a pretty terrible second set and was struggling to put the ball into court and in the third I went for my shots a bit more and backed my strokes and it worked out,” Anderson said.
“At the end of the second I was thinking my chances were pretty slim but I tried to be the aggressor and not do too much running and it got me through.”
Anderson, who also made it through qualifying to the main draw of the Brisbane International, was flattered to be amongst such illustrious company.
“I look up to them so it’s pretty cool,” Anderson said.
But his favourite Australian player is Lleyton Hewitt, who he models his game on rather than the big-hitting Kyrgios or Kokkinakis.
Anderson said he wasn’t planning an assault on the ATP tour any time soon, and would focus on Challengers and Futures events this year.
Sydney’s De Minaur, 16, was eliminated in the singles semi-finals on Friday by Karimov but rebounded to team with 17-year-old Queenslander Ellis.
The pair came from behind to upset eighth seeds Lukas Klein of Slovakia and Czech Patrik Rikl 3-6 7-5 12-10.
It also continued Australia’s recent hold on the boys’ doubles at the Open, represented in the winning pair in 2015, 2014 and 2013.
In the junior girls’ singles, Vera Lapko followed in the footsteps of Victoria Azarenka as the only other Belarusian to win the title.
Lapko overcame defending champion Tereza Mihalikova from Slovakia in the girls’ final 6-3 6-4.