WA junior tennis stars claim championships in Melbourne

Talia Gibson and Derek Pham claimed titles at the December Showdown at Melbourne Park.
Talia Gibson and Derek Pham claimed titles at the December Showdown at Melbourne Park.

JUNIOR tennis players Talia Gibson and Derek Pham, who play for North Beach and Cottesloe tennis clubs respectively, won the 14-and-under Australian championship singles titles at the 2018 December Showdown yesterday at Melbourne Park.

Pham also won the 14-and-under boys doubles event with partner Edward Winter from South Australia while Dalkeith Tennis Club player Tristan Schoolkate won the 18-and-under Australian Championship Doubles title with partner Dane Sweeney from Queensland.

Earlier this year, Gibson said that her goal was to win the December Showdown.

“I lost the semi final in Adelaide at the Australian Grasscourt Nationals, so I made it my goal to win the final National Championship title at the December Showdown,” she said.

“It feels amazing to have won. I haven’t had this feeling before. It’s unbelievable.”

Gibson, whose Australian ranking has risen to 216, attributed the win to her composure on the court and confidence.

“I’ve learnt to compose myself on court and to play with respect and etiquette,” she said.

“When you learn to manage your emotions, you play better tennis.”

Pham said he’d been a 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.”