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Playing for gold! Junior tennis stars set for super Sunday

Posted: 13-Jul-2019 by PanAm Games 2019

It’s going to be a busy Sunday for Junior Tennis star Alex Placek, with two gold medal showdowns now locked in at the Maccabi Pan-American Games.

The 16-year-old top seed will play for glory in singles as well as doubles, where he’ll take to the court alongside teammate Brad Lowe.

Placek emerged unscathed from a monster day in Mexico City, as he cruised through his singles semi-final with a 6-3, 6-2 scoreline before he and Lowe were pushed all the way in their doubles semi.

Alex Placek will play in two gold medal matches on Sunday

The Aussie duo needed three sets to get past their Chilean opponents, eventually doing so 10-2 in a super tiebreak. It means they will now play for gold, with a medal already confirmed.

“The first match was much easier for me,” Placek said.

“I felt I was awake, had energy, then throughout the second set of my first match I started getting really tired, dizzy from the altitude. I got through that match thank god, then we had a lot of delays, court changes, a two-hour delay, so we had no food in us, we didn’t have any energy and we went down the first set.

“Then we found the energy to come back and fought to the end, the way the Aussies do it.”

Placek and Lowe dropped the opening set 5-7, as they allowed their opponents to take the upper hand in the semi-final clash. But with their backs against the wall, the duo brought their a-game ensuring they won through to the decider.

“I’m just relieved,” Lowe said.

“At the start, I was very scared. I think both not our best day but then we prevailed together and worked together. It’s just great that we know that [we’re getting a medal] for sure now, and its great to do it with someone else.”

Brad Lowe in action

It’s two more medals onto the growing Aussie tally at the Pan-Am Games, after what turned out to be the best possible day on the tennis court. But coach Asaf Nagar still wasn’t completely satisfied with the performance of his two stars.

“It turned out to be as good as it gets but I wasn’t happy with their first set,” Nagar said.

“It was pretty average, playing scared tennis, but luckily they woke up in the second set and started playing the tennis because they’re so much better pair then the other two. Better late than never but they need to start that well as well.

“To be honest, no disrespect to the other pairs, I think they’re the best pair here. I think if they play their tennis, play to win the match, they’re going to win.”

The boys will play in the gold medal match on Sunday - Placek’s singles encounter will take place on the same day.