Favorites in junior singles finals both go downPosted: Sunday January 27, 2002 4:56 AM
MELBOURNE (Reuters) -- Russian teenager Maria Sharapova fell short of claiming her first big title when she was beaten in the Australian Open girls' singles final 6-0, 7-5 by Czech seventh seed Barbora Strycova on Sunday.
Sharapova, 14, was playing in her first Grand Slam junior singles final and was unseeded.
Widely regarded as the next great hope of Russian tennis, Sharapova beat fifth seed Myriam Casanova of Switzerland, Belgian Kim Clijsters's younger sister Elke and ninth seed Hsieh Su-Wei of Taiwan on the way to the final.
In the boys' final, 16th seed Clement Morel of France upset local hope Todd Reid 6-4, 6-4.
Tenth seeded Australian Reid, who had played a draining three-set semifinal in hot conditions on Saturday against another French challenger in 15-year-old Richard Gasquet, said he had little energy left for the final.
"That really took a lot out of me and today just after the first set it really kicked in," said Reid, who took a set off Frenchman Nicolas Escude before losing in four sets in the first round of the men's singles.
Reid was the first Australian to reach the boys' singles final since 1994, when Ben Ellwood beat compatriot Andrew Ilie.
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