Peliwo puts 'Sampras-like' cap on junior career

Filip Peliwo of Canada smacks a forehand during his US Open Junior Boys' final win over Britain's Liam Broady.
by Clair Maciel
Sunday, September 9, 2012
Filip Peliwo of Canada capped off his junior career in the best way possible. Not only did he reach the final of every 2012 Grand Slam, but he won two of them, including his first US Open title on Sunday, a three-hour 6-2, 2-6, 7-5 win over Britain's Liam Broady.
The No. 2 seed Peliwo had a successful summer that saw him win the Wimbledon junior boys' title before coming to New York. His final-round appearance here marked the first time a junior boy has reached all four major finals in the same year since 1984.
"It's an honor to win here," Peliwo said after the match. "This is the best way for me to finish my junior career. I wanted to do it like Pete Sampras did, so it's nice to finish off like my idol."
With juniors now behind him, Peliwo will start to prepare for the pro circuit, working his way up through Futures and Challengers events. It's a transition the 18-year-old said he is looking forward to, though he admits he will need to improve a lot of his game in order to succeed at that level.
"It's definitely a huge challenge. I have seen a lot of juniors before that have had success at this level and never really translated into the pro circuit. So it's definitely looking good for me, but there are no guarantees. I'm just going to have to keep working hard and giving my best every day to develop my game as much as possible. I'm going to have to strengthen up physically and mentally, as well. It's going to be an interesting few years, I think, seeing how I develop. But I think that I'm quite confident that I can achieve big success on the pro tour if I just stay healthy and keep working hard."
Peliwo and Broady engaged in long, hard-hitting baseline exchanges throughout the first set. Peliwo consistently worked an effective crosscourt game to pick on Broady's lefty backhand, a strategy that helped propel the Canadian to a quick 5-1 lead. Broady, on the other hand, had trouble with unforced errors, particularly when it came to serving on critical points. He committed 14 double faults in the match.
Fortunes reversed in the second set, as the Brit raised his game while Peliwo lost his momentum and began making costly errors. Broady broke his opponent three times in the second to level the match and force a decisive third set.
By this time, the crowd began to pack the bleachers, with a lot of vocal Canadian fans backing Peliwo. The heavy, punishing baseline rallies continued, with Broady blasting shots that left Peliwo scrambling and sliding for shots in the splits position. A trade of back-to-back breaks midway through the set kept the players on serve, but Peliwo converted on the third break point on Broady's serve at 5-5, putting him in position to serve for the title. With a burst of confidence, he closed out strong at 40-15 with a serve-and-volley play, falling to his knees in celebration when his shot sailed past Broady's reach.


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