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Saville through after Milojevic retires

Luke Saville hits a forehand during his quarter-final Juniors match against Nikola Milojevic.
by Benjamin Snyder
Thursday 5 July 2012

Luke Saville, the top seed in the boys’ singles event and 2011 champion, advanced to the semi-finals for the second consecutive year when his opponent Nikola Milojevic retired due to injury, trailing 7-5, 5-4. The No.2 seed Kimmer Coppejans, however, did not fare so well, losing in straight sets to Mitchell Krueger,.

In the first match on the Court 6, Saville and Milojevic held serve for the majority of the first set as they exerted their all-court styles to push one another for a spot in the semi-finals.

However, down 6-5 the Serbian Milojevic, who has been ranked as high as No.3 in the world in May, blinked first. A slice error at the net gave Saville, the Australian Open 2012 champion, his first look at claiming the game at 15-15. A backhand error brought Saville to 15-30. Nerves continued to creep in as each struck an error but the Australian secured an opportunity to break in the flurry of misplaced shots. Another error from Milojevic, who would make 19 to Saville’s 10, made that chance a reality.

Milojevic called for a trainer between sets, and Saville responded by reeling off four consecutive points on serve to jump to a 1-0 lead. The Serbian rallied back to hold serve and then break in the next game by drawing three straight errors. It would not be until a Milojevic forehand sailed long down 30-40 at 3-1 that Saville would level the second set.

With order restored, the Australian held to love with a combination of forehand winners and errors off the Milojevic racket. At 4-4, a volley winner and ace, one of seven from Saville, induced another untroubled service game, forcing the Serbian to hold to stay in the match.

But a second call for the trainer would delay this surge in momentum for Saville. After the treatment, Instead of heading for the baseline to serve, Milojevic went to shake his opponent’s hand to concede the match and send the Australian into the final four for a chance to defend his title.

Saville next meets the left-handed Italian Gianluigi Quinzi, the No.3 seed for a place in the final. In the bottom half of the draw, American Krueger applied pressure with his big-serving game to oust the reigning French Open champion 6-2, 7-6(5). Up an early break, the Texan, who had lost to Coppejans during the Roland Garros semi-finals this year, reeled off 16 straight points on serve to take the first set 6-2 in 20 minutes.

The second set proved a much closer battle as both managed to hold serve to bring a tie-break. Coppejans earned a 1-0 lead as a Krueger forehand landed into the net. The American blasted two straight aces – of a total of 11 – for 2-1, while Coppejans took the next point with a backhand winner at 2-2.

On Krueger’s serve at 5-5 the Belgian committed his 16th unforced error with a mistimed slice to give his opponent a match point. Coppejans struck his 17th and final error of the match to succumb. With a roar of a “C’mon,” the No.8 seed advanced to set up a meeting with the Australian Open and Roland Garros runner-up, Filip Peliwo of Canada.

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