Maida Vale youngster Derek Pham wins major tennis title at Melbourne Park

Mazenod student Derek Pham has won the 14/u Australian Championships singles title. Photo: supplied.
Mazenod student Derek Pham has won the 14/u Australian Championships singles title. Photo: supplied.

RISING tennis star Derek Pham has claimed the 14/u Australian Championship singles title at the 2018 December Showdown event in Melbourne.

The Maida Vale prodigy came from behind to secure the championship title in three sets against Japanese junior Shogo Sanada 6-7(4) 6-3 6-2.

Pham lost the first set and laughed when he said it took him a little while to find his mojo.

“It took me a little to warm up this morning but once I found my rhythm I decided to step it up and play aggressively from the baseline,” he said.

“It worked and I got the victory.”

Pham had a smooth run to the semi-finals where he encountered number 3 seed Jett Leong for a three-set match, eventually winning 6-3, 6-7(3), 6-4.

Pham said he had been a far more professional competitor during the December Showdown.

“I’ve taken things a lot more seriously this tournament and it’s paid off,” he said.

“I’ve been more conscious in my pre-match preparation and have taken the time to find about my opponents.” Pham said.

To cap off an already impressive day, Pham then went on to win the 14/u boys doubles final with partner Edward Winter (SA) in a convincing 6-0, 6-0 victory.

WA National Academy manager Tom George said Pham had made his state proud.

“All of our West Australian juniors have played incredibly well here in Melbourne Park. Derek in particular has held himself true to the values of the National Academy of commit, compete and respect,”George said.

“We couldn’t ask for anything more.”

George said Pham had moved through the tennis pathway from Super 10’s, talent development programs, state teams, Tennis West Academy and junior nationals and was now reaping the benefits of his hard work.

“We develop champions both on and off the court,” he said.

“Player performance before and after matches is just as important as how they play on court.

“We’re incredibly proud of the champions coming out of WA.”

The December Showdown is an annual event held at Melbourne Park and attracts more than 400 junior players from across the globe, playing more than 1400 matches over the first two weeks of December.