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Junior champ Peliwo returns to Wimbledon in style

2012 junior champion Filip Peliwo at qualifying
by Dan Imhoff at Qualifying
Monday 17 June 2013

Big Max Mirnyi has already staked a claim to 'The Beast' nickname on tour, but last year's Junior Wimbledon champion, Filip Peliwo, can claim "beast mode" as his own after finding his range on the cusp of a first-round qualifying defeat at Roehampton on Monday.
 
It's a term the young Canadian uses to sum up a purple patch of play and a zone he found himself floating in during the latter stages of a comeback 6-2, 1-6, 9-7 victory over American Bradley Klahn.
 
Having split the opening sets between them, Klahn served for the match at 5-4 only to have a trio of match points evaporate on the back of a sudden surge in attack from 547th-ranked Peliwo.
 
"I got into that zone where everything I was seeing was a big fluffy ball and I couldn't miss. It worked out for me. It was literally one point changed it I think," Peliwo said.
 
"First match point really got me into it, got my adrenaline up. I guess for a few points I was in 'beast mode' if you want to say that. It's just a dumb term I started using on Twitter 'cause people like it, well I think they do. I like to have something of my own to use."
 
Having held for 6-5, last year's top-ranked junior was now wearing his heart on his sleeve and prematurely screamed in disgust at a backhand slice he thought was drifting wide. The wind steered the ball in but Peliwo lost the point for hindrance and Klahn used the change in fortunes to his advantage, to level at 6-6.
 
"I knew it was just a stupid thing, but I just yelled out straight away," Peliwo said. "At that point of the match you can't let the first point of a game like that get to you and break down. It was just something in the moment. I was really pumped up."
 
Failing to serve out the match for a second time at 7-6, Klahn was now silenced and a fully vocal Peliwo could sense this was his for the taking.
 
"I always talk to myself in a match. Sometimes it doesn't help. I use it to pump myself up for the next point," he said. "I was speaking Polish there too, as my background is Polish. I was saying 'just hit the ball' cause I was just blocking it."
 
Sixth seed Denis Kudla is next up for Peliwo, after the American's 6-3, 6-4 win over Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert.
 
"I'm an underdog. I'm not expected to win right away," he said. "I know I can beat these guys if I play really well but I'm not thinking about last year. Last year was juniors, last year was in the past."
 
Australian Matt Reid ground out a marathon three-set victory of his own, upending Indian 22nd seed Somdev Devvarman 7-6(4), 4-6, 18-16, while Kazakh former top-50 player Evgeny Korolev put out Japanese 18th seed Yuichi Sugita 6-3, 7-5.  
 
Veteran Belgian, Olivier Rochus, made an impressive return, having missed the best part of three months through injury; the 32-year-old downing Argentine Renzo Olivo - a player 11 years his junior - 6-3, 6-4.
 
Now languishing at 139th in the rankings, the 5ft6 Rochus still displayed the touch and court speed, which took him to a career-high of No.24 eight years ago.
 
After an off-forehand dropshot to hold for 4-4 in the second set, the 20th seed rolled a lob beyond reach of his Argentine opponent before breaking with a backhand pass up the line and a scream of "Allez". He would hold to love to land a second-round qualifying berth against Frenchman Joseelin Ouanna.

Australian Matt Reid ground out a marathon three-set victory of his own, upending Indian 22nd seed Somdev Devvarman 7-6(4), 4-6, 18-16, while Kazakh former top-50 player Evgeny Korolev put out Japanese 18th seed Yuichi Sugita 6-3, 7-5.  
 
The result wasn't so favourable for another former top-50 player, Donald Young. Ranked as high 38th less than 16 months ago, the American bowing out meekly to Argentine Agustin Velotti, 6-4, 6-3.
 
Veteran Belgian, Olivier Rochus, made an impressive return, having missed the best part of three months through injury; the 32-year-old downing Argentine Renzo Olivo - a player 11 years his junior - 6-3, 6-4.

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