Junior Wimbledon champion Luke Saville serves up expectations
JUNIOR Wimbledon champion Luke Saville's a fan of Lleyton Hewitt but he's built more like Novak Djokovic, or least he hopes to be in another year.
"I'm a good size. I may grow a little bit more which may mean a bit more power in my serve,'' the 186cm South Australia said.
"I've got to get stronger, fitter, faster.
"My game is a big, aggressive game so I'm not going to be scooting around the baseline like Lleyton Hewitt.
"I'm going to be a lot bigger frame. I'm going to come to the net a lot more.
"If I can get a little more mobile around the court, because I'm going to keep on growing, that would be a good achievement.''
Saville, who heads the field in this week's national under-18 championships in Melbourne, is chasing a place in the Australian Open in January.
But at the tender age of 17, he knows it's not such an easy step from junior stardom to the big time.
Mentored by Todd Woodbridge and coached by Ray Ruffels and Des Tyson, Saville says a realistic goal is trying to repeat his junior Wimbledon triumph.
Ranked the No.2 junior in the world, Saville will claim top spot on January 1 when Czech Jiri Vesely and other 1993-born players are no longer eligible.
"I'll play the Australian Open juniors in January and depending on how I go there, possibly the French juniors, maybe Wimbledon again,'' he said.
"Wimbledon is obviously the highlight of my year. I'm going to cherish that forever.
"But it's time to move on now. I feel like I'm playing great.
"There's going to be expectations placed on me throughout the Australian summer but I'm ready for that.
"If I was to get into the Australian Open I would either have to win the playoff or get a wildcard. That's not up to me, that's up to the selectors.
"The main goal for me next year is to start transitioning into the men's futures and up into the Challengers and Tour events.''
Saville says watching Djokovic claim his third major of the year with victory over Spain's Rafael Nadal in a brutal four-hour battle in September's US Open final provided a glimpse of the work-rate required if the youngster wants to take the next step.
"Djokovic is probably a little bit taller than me, very skinny and by far probably the best athlete going around right now,'' Saville said.
"That's why he has done so well this year.''