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Elizaveta Kulichkova

Elizaveta Kulichkova has completed an AO2014 double, adding the Australian Open junior girls’ singles title to her collection on Saturday after winning the doubles on Friday night.

After losing in the semifinals of last year’s Australian Open, Kulichkova produced an emphatic display to overcome Croatian Jana Fett 6-2 6-1 to win her first Grand Slam singles title.

With both girls in their first major singles final, 17-year-old Kulichkova settled into the contest first at Rod Laver Arena.

The Russian broke Fett in the third game after taking a 2-1 lead on serve, and with a 3-1 advantage never looked back in the opening set.

“I felt really good (at the start), I didn’t get as nervous as I thought I would,” said Kulichkova.

There were nine winners off the Kulichkova racquet in the first set, as the Russian raced through it 6-2 in only 29 minutes.

There was no reprieve in the second set for Fett, as the 17-year-old was unable to launch a comeback in the way she had after losing the opening set in two of her earlier matches.

The Croatian struggled for any fluency on serve, with only 47 percent of first serves landing in for the match.

It didn’t compare well against her 180cm, who won 78 percent of points on her own first serve.

Fett did break her opponent in the opening game of the second set, but from there it was all one-way traffic as Kulichkova reeled of the final six games of the final.

There was no exuberant celebrations, no jumping up and down, when the result was confirmed, rather just a sense of accomplishment.

“I felt I’m going to do this, I was pretty sure, I was really confident.

“I was the girl who expected to win,” said Kulichkova.

After reaching the semifinals of the Australian Open, and quarterfinals at Roland Garros, Kulichkova finally broke through for her maiden Grand Slam title.

“It feels really perfect.

“I’m pretty happy about what I’ve done, and I think it’s a great achievement for everyone, for every junior,” said the Russian.

Kulichkova lost only one set for the tournament, against Latvian Jelena Ostapenko in her quarterfinal.

It completed a remarkable week, after capturing the doubles title with Ukrainian Anhelina Kalinina on Friday night.

“That’s exactly what I was coming for, and I’m really happy about that,” said Kulichkova of completing the double.

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Post-Tournament
Thursday, 27 November 2014
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