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Sunday, July 6, 2008

Dimitrov Captures Boys Wimbledon Title; Doubles Champions Get Second Grand Slam Titles of 2008

After the thrilling all-day men's final, the junior Wimbledon champions crowned today are not likely to get the same treatment as Laura Robson did (nor would they even if Nadal's win over Federer had been less exciting). But thanks to the return of our power and my access to Wimbledon LIVE, I was able to watch the boys' final (while turning down the sound and listening to Guy McCrea's call of the match on Radio Wimbledon. Here's Guy's final report from the Wimbledon:

(NOTE: Quicktime, a media player available via a Free Download, is required to hear the audio clips.)

The last day of Wimbledon 2008 and after Laura Robson’s famous victory in the girls’ singles on Saturday, all that was left was for the three remaining junior finals to take place at the All England Club.

First up it was the final of the boys’ singles which took place on Number One Court. The contest between Henri Kontinen and Grigor Dimitrov got underway a little later than the 2pm scheduled start time because of the wet conditions in South-West London. But there were no further interruptions, as those content to ignore the Federer-Nadal clash on nearby Centre Court were treated to an intriguing opening set of junior tennis.

Dimitrov carried a shoulder injury from his semi-final win over Fillip Krajinovic into this one and it flared up midway through the opener. The Bulgarian was in such pain that he could barely serve at three-quarter pace from then on. Remarkably though, Kontinen had much greater difficulty dealing with Dimitrov’s slower deliveries as he struck a rash of unforced return errors. The Bulgarian took his chance as she stepped up the quality of his baseline returns to the serve and volleying Finn – a single break of serve at the end of the first set enough for him to take it 7-5.
Kontinen briefly started to show some of the form that had seen him upset top seed Bernard Tomic in the last four as he went a break up midway through the second. But Dimitrov soon broke straight back and with the momentum now firmly in his favour, he went onto break Kontinen’s malfunctioning serve again. The 17 year old then successfully served out the set 6-3 without any real alarm to claim his first junior Grand Slam singles crown.

Afterwards Dimitrov told me what it meant for him to be the first boy from Bulgaria to lift the title.


Elsewhere, the girls’ doubles final took place on court 2 between the Slovenian-Australian pairing of Polona Hercog and Jessica Moore, and the all-Australian duo of Isabella Holland and Sally Peers. Hercog and Moore began brightly to win the opener 6-3, before Holland and Peers punished some indecisive play from their opponents to take the second 6-1. But the sixth seeds handled the blustery conditions better in the decider and a brilliant return from Moore ultimately enabled them to win it 6-2. Moore says this victory is the perfect follow-up to their French Open doubles success last month.


The boys’ doubles final had to be moved to court 14 because of the bad British weather. Bernard Tomic and Matt Reid were up against Cheng-Peng Hsieh and Tsung-Hua Yang, with Tomic keen to end the event with some success after failing to lift the singles’ title. But it was the reigning Australian Open doubles champions from Chinese Taipei who served the better to snare the opener 6-4. Tomic and Reid came back well though to take the second 6-2 with a double break of serve. The deciding set was as tight as any in the whole event, with break point opportunities missed regularly by both pairs. Court 14 became increasingly populated as word got round of the terrific contest on show, and there was hardly a seat to be had when Hsieh and Yang finally broke Tomic’s serve in the penultimate game. It allowed Hsieh to serve out the match 12-10 after almost two and a quarter hours of battle. Here’s Yang’s view on winning the Wimbledon doubles title.


So an apt ending to a terrific week of junior tennis at Wimbledon, which delighted players and spectators alike. Hopefully you all enjoyed the reports and reaction from here too!

For complete draws, see wimbledon.org.


mnm said...

Congratulations to Collette--the only oe to pick Dimitriov to win the Boys.