MITSUBISHI LANCER INT’L TENNIS

Milojevic, Sanders serve up flashy title-clinchers

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TOP SEED Nikola Milojevic of Serbia capped his dominance of the boys’ singles by thrashing 11th seed Australian Jordan Thompson, 6-0, 7-5, yesterday in the boys’ single title match of the Mitsubishi Lancer international junior tennis championships at the Rizal Memorial Tennis Center.

Milojevic, who frustrated the Filipino fans Saturday when he ousted Jurence Zosimo Mendoza, 7-6 (7-1), 6-0, in the semifinals, finished the tough tournament without giving up a set to earn ITF ranking points that lifted him to No. 7 in the world in juniors play from 13th at the start of the week.

“I got into my game quickly because of the cooler weather compared to yesterday,” said the 16-year-old, 6-foot-3 Milojevic. “It was a great win for me. Hopefully, next year I can come back again and compete here.”

It was Milojevic’s second straight ITF Grade 1 tournament title after winning in Kuching early this month, where he also beat Mendoza in the second round. He won Grade 2 events in China last year.

The Belgrade-based Milojevic, who idolizes world No. 1 and compatriot Novak Djokovic, strung up five victories en route to the title, starting off with a 6-1, 6-0 rout of Fil-American Nikko Madregallego.

Later in the day, Australian qualifier Storm Sanders capped her remarkable run in the girls’ singles with a stunning 4-6, 6-3, 6-1 triumph over fourth seed Anna Tyulpa of Russia to win the title.

Sanders, the 17-year-old from Rockhampton, surprised everyone in the tournament by pulling off a string of upset wins. She started off with a 6-3, 6-3 demolition of top seed Russian Elizaveta Kulichkova, 6-3, 6-3, in the first round.

“I gained a lot of confidence after beating Kulichkova in the first round, and things kind of just rolled into place,” said the left-handed Sanders, who was ranked 250th in the world at the start of the tournament.

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