MELBOURNE, December 15, 2019 (Press Release)
The 2019 December Showdown presented by Kia has come to a close with the 16-and-under and 12-and-under champions crowned in Melbourne on Sunday.
James McCabe (Rockdale, NSW) claimed the 16/u Australian Boys’ championship and Talia Gibson (Alfred Cove, WA) claimed the 16/u Girls’ title. In the 12/u Championships Alana Subasic (Penshurst, NSW) and Heremana Courte (CAL) took out the titles.
The annual event, Australia’s most prestigious junior tournament, saw more than 400 of Australia and Asia-Pacific’s best junior tennis players descend on Melbourne Park to battle it out for 12/u, 14/u, 16/u and 18/u age championships titles.
Last week saw the 18/u and 14/u champions crowned, with fifteen-year-old wildcard Charlotte Kempenaers-Pocz (SA) and Tristan Schoolkate (WA) taking out their respective 18/u titles, and Taylah Preston (WA) and Alexander Despoja (SA) claiming the 14/u championships.
“It’s amazing, it’s been my goal to win this [December Showdown] for like two years now … A lot of mixed emotions. I’m just like really happy, and all that hard work, it’s all paid off,” 16/u Boys’ Champion James McCabe said after defeating Philip Sekulic 7-6(3) 6-4.
The 16/u championship winners also earn a place in the Australian Open junior field.
“I’m gonna train even harder, that’s one of my goals done. Next goal. So looking forward it,” McCabe said looking ahead to the Australian Open juniors.
Talia Gibson, who won the 14/u title at December Showdown 2018, defeated Lauren Nikoloski 6-3 7-5 to claim the 16/u Girls’ title today.
“It feels really amazing, winning the 16s is just a really great feeling. I’ve played a lot of matches and to come this far just feels really good,” Gibson said.
“It’s always a great experience playing on these courts here in Melbourne. I’ve played on them for a lot of years in a row now and knowing that the pros are going to be out here soon is pretty exciting.”
Top seed Alana Subasic was overjoyed after winning the 12/u Girls’ Championship over Gabrielle Villegas (Vic), an achievement world No.1 Ash Barty achieved in 2008.
“It feels amazing. I just won the Perth [grasscourt] nationals, so my goal was just to win the Showdown. I just feel speechless right now,” Subasic said.
“I think my attitude was more positive. She’s a really great player, and she was also fighting, but I think my attitude was just better, and I wanted it more.
New Caledonia’s Heremana Courte defeated Japan’s Jin Furuta 7-5 6-4 to claim the 12/u Boys’ title.
The young champions join a list of stellar list of previous winners, including our current Australian number one’s Ash Barty and Alex de Minaur to win December Showdown Championship titles, an event which is known to help foster and develop the next generation of tennis players.
The December Showdown 2019 presented by Kia culminated with the Australian Open 2020 Play-off, with Arina Rodionova (Vic) and John-Patrick Smith (Qld) earning the coveted wildcards into the years’ first Grand Slam.
December Showdown 2019 presented by Kia results
18/u Girls’ Final
[WC] Charlotte Kempenaers-Pocz (SA) def. Natasha Russell (SA) 4-6 6-2 Ret.
18/u Boys’ Final
 Tristan Schoolkate (WA) def.  Dane Sweeny (Qld) 6-2 7-5
16/u Girls’ Final
 Talia Gibson (WA) def.  Lauren Nikoloski (WA) 6-3 7-5
16/u Boys’ Final
 James McCabe (NSW) def.  Philip Sekulic (Qld) 7-6(3) 6-4
14/u Girls’ Final
 Taylah Preston (WA) def.  Jessie Culley (WA) 7-6(3) 4-6 6-3
14/u Boys’ Final
 Alexander Despoja (SA) def. Zachary Viiala (WA) 6-3 7-6(6)
12/u Girls’ Final
 Alana Subasic (NSW) def. Gabrielle Villegas (Vic) 7-6(3) 6-4
12/u Boys’ Final
 Heremana Courte (CAL) def. Jin Furuta (JPN) 7-5 6-4
18/u Girls’ Doubles Final
 Talia Gibson / Annerly Poulos (ACT) def. Olivia Symons (Vic) / Charlotte Kempenaers-Pocz (SA) 6-3 6-4
18/u Boys’ Doubles Final
 Tristan Schoolkate (WA) / Dane Sweeny (Qld) def.  Stefan Storch (Vic) / Nikita Volonski (NSW) 6-1 6-2
16/u Girls’ Doubles Final
Catherine Aulia (NSW) / Elena Micic (Vic) def.  Cassidy Mataia (Qld) / Lara Walker (Qld) 3-6 7-5 10-8
16/u Boys’ Doubles Final
 James McCabe (NSW) / Edward Winter (SA) def.  Cooper White (Vic) / Casey Hoole (Qld) 3-6 7-6(5) 10-5
14/u Girls’ Doubles Final
 Jessie Culley / Taylah Preston (WA) def.  Lily Fairclough (WA) / Sydney Stone (Qld) 5-7 7-5 10-8
14/u Boys’ Doubles Final
 Alexander Despoja (SA) / Zachary Viiala (WA) def.  Charlie Camus (ACT) / Pavle Marinkov (NSW) 7-6(2) 6-4
12/u Girls’ Doubles Final
Suzana Oigawa (JPN) / Wakana Sonobe (JPN) def.  Alana Subasic (NSW) / Elizabeth Ivanov (NSW) 6-1 7-6(5)
12/u Boys’ Doubles Final
 Jake Dembo (WA) / Jamie Mackenzie (NZL) def.  Ashton Mcleod (NSW) / Hugh Taylor (ACT) 7-5 6-3