Mili Poljičak Becomes First Croat to Win Wimbledon Juniors Title!

Daniela Rogulj

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In the final match, the young Split tennis player and the tournament’s third seed defeated American Michael Zheng 7-6(2), 7-6(3).

Poljičak thus became the third Croatian tennis player in history to win a junior Grand Slam tournament. Previously, Marin Čilić succeeded in this in 2005 at Roland Garros and Borna Ćorić in 2013 at the US Open. Croatian female tennis players, on the other hand, have six triumphs in junior competitions.

The first set lasted almost an hour, and Zheng was the first to break. He first went up to 3-2 and then what seemed like an unattainable 5-2.

However, Poljičak was able to recover. Zheng served for the first set, which then went to a tie-break. Poljičak immediately made a mini-break. He subsequently escaped to 6-2 and quite convincingly won the final fight to win the first set.

In the second set, Zheng was the first to break and took a 3-1 lead. However, after missing two break points in the fourth game, Poljičak went 0-40 at 2-3. He used the third break point in that game and tied it to 3-3.

Poljičak was dangerous in the second set when leading 4-3 and 5-4, but the American somehow brought it to a new tie break.

Poljičak again held everything in his hands. He led 2-0 and 4-1 and firmly held his service until the end and a great victory. Both players made two breaks each, with Zheng having two break chances and Poljičak eight. The Croatian junior had a first-serve percentage of 80 percent and won six points more than his opponent (88-82).

Poljičak thus became the first Croatian tennis player to win the Wimbledon Juniors tournament. Croatian tennis has had two finalists so far, but both lost in the final – Ivan Ljubičić (1996 to Vladimir Volčkov) and Mario Ančić (2000 to Nicolas Mahut).

Poljičak also won the junior doubles tournament at Roland Garros this year with Lithuanian partner Edes Butvilas.

Source: HRT

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