Australian Bernard Tomic became the youngest male Grand Slam singles winner in history when the fifteen-year-old capped Australia Day with a 4-6, 7-6(5), 6-0 victory over Tsung-Hua Yang of Chinese Taipei in the junior boys' final.
Eclipsing by two months the record of former Team Elite member Donald Young, set at the 2005 Australian Open, Tomic was forced to fight back from a 4-6, 2-4 deficit in the championship match to put his name in the record books.
"He was just playing unbelievable tennis," Tomic said of the 10th-seeded Yang during the post-match news conference. "He was serving like a top 15 player in the world. It was just impossible to get it back for me at that stage. I managed to believe in myself as much as I could at that stage and I broke him back."
Yang won only two more games in the match, played at Rod Laver Arena, after taking the his lead, as Tomic, playing with a MicroGel Extreme Pro, stepped up his game.
"I came out in the third set really prepared," said the fifth-seeded Tomic, who resides on Australia's Gold Coast. "I knew what I had to do to, you know, break him early."
The record-setting performance was not the only success Tomic experienced on the courts of Melbourne Park. In the opening round of men's qualifying, Tomic, a wild card, defeated Yeu-Tzuoo Wang, also of Chinese Taipei, who was 147th in the ATP rankings. That win gave Tomic, now ranked third in the ITF World Junior rankings, his first four ATP points, along with some new goals.
"I would like to play more futures this year and get my ranking up to as high as it can," said the 6-foot-2 inch right-hander. "Hopefully I can improve on aspects of my game, my serve and my speed around the court, which I need to improve."
Team Elite member Cesar Ramirez of Mexico, the top seed in the boys' singles draw in Melbourne, dropped a quarterfinal singles encounter to Tomic, but reached the doubles final with partner Vasek Pospisil of Canada. After taking the first set from the unseeded team of Cheng Peng Hsieh and Yang, the number two seeds dropped the second set and the match tiebreaker, used in place of a third set. Ramirez, who plays with a MicroGel Radical MP, recently won the first ITF Grade A tournament of the year, the Casablanca Cup, propelling him into the Top Five in the ITF Junior rankings.