Tennis Australia said:TOUGH BIRRELL FIGHTS HER WAY TO AUSTRALIAN OPEN SEMIFINAL
There are some players that thrive on the contest, that love the fight. Kimberly Birrell is fast earning a reputation as one of those players. Today she won through to the semifinals to the girls' singles at the Australian Open.
Melbourne VIC, Australia, 23 January 2014 | Rob Sheeley 1 5
Kimberly Birrell in action during the 2014 Australian Open Junior Championships at Melbourne Park on January 23, 2014 in Melbourne, Australia.
There are some players that thrive on the contest, that love the fight. Kimberly Birrell is fasting earning a reputation as one of those players.
Today Birrell won her fourth match in the girls’ singles at the Australian Open to advance to the semifinals. Three of those four matches have been gruelling three-set affairs that have lasted over two hours, but that is not worrying Birrell in the slightest.
“I’ve had so many three-set matches that I think now that any time it goes to a third set, it works in my favour,” Birrell said after coming from behind to defeat Polish 10th seed Anastasiya Komardina 6-7 (7) 6-1 6-3.
After going down in a titanic first-set tiebreak, Birrell was forced to mentally regroup and attempt to haul back the ascendency, something she admits wasn’t easy.
“It’s not easy, I had three set-points in the first set too, so it was a bit disappointing not being able to get those but as soon as that happened, I just had to put it behind me and concentrate on winning the next point and the next set.”
And that was exactly what the 15-year-old did, with great success too, all the time being supported by a vocal crowd who desperately wanted to get the Queenslander over the line.
“The crowd were amazing.
“It’s a pretty crazy feeling hearing your name being chanted out.
“You try to have four walls around you when you play, but having that in the back of your head definitely helps a lot.”
Birrell managed a first serve percentage of 58% today which is slightly below her tournament standard; she plans on wasting no time in ensuring it is spot-on for tomorrow’s semifinal.
“Down on that court (Show Court 3), I think it gets a little bit swirly with the wind. My serve wasn’t quite as good today.
“I’m going to go back out on the practice court this afternoon just to see if I can improve that a bit for tomorrow.”
Awaiting Birrell in the semifinal is Croatian Jana Fett, an opponent who she has never played.
“I don’t really know her too much. But my coach and I will sit down tonight and have a talk and come up with a game plan for tomorrow.”
I do like Priscilla Hon :haha: Naiktha Bains pisses me off because of the hype and because she isn't as good as people think :lol: I also don't like people who get too spoilt and while Kim and Priscilla haven't been too much Bains and Tomic :banghead: And BTW who is part of the etcetera who aren't bogans h:
Isn't Liv well liked amongst her fellow Australian players? Liv was sitting with about 20 others watching Storm play Brisbane quallies.Oh so naive :hug:
Some aren't bogans but are just horrible, like apparently Olivia Rogowska is hated by many of her contemporaries :lol:
I have no idea about Rodionova but I know that many players hate Rogowska. Apparently she used to be nice when she was an unknown but then after the Safina match apparently she was really horrible. I know Shannon Golds had a falling out with her as did Daniela Scivetti She gets on better with the Americans nowIsn't Liv well liked amongst her fellow Australian players? Liv was sitting with about 20 others watching Storm play Brisbane quallies.
The only one I know isn't well liked is Anastasia Rodionova.
COACH Chris Mahony did not have to think hard about how to lift pupil Kimberly Birrell’s spirits after her Australian Open girls’ singles semi-final defeat last night.
Mahony’s words to the 15-year-old Queenslander were simple and effective.
“She was down 6-3 6-5 30-0 in the first round and she fought so hard just to get through that match and stay in the tournament,” Mahony said.
“She ended up beating a couple of girls in the top 20 and making the semi-finals and wasn’t far from taking that match into a third set there and then you never know what happens.
“It’s a real breakthrough for Kim and she’s been working so hard this year ... and you can see it all come together and she’s making good strides.
“She’s an unbelievable girl with good personal qualities, so she’s got a fantastic career ahead of her.”
Mahony is Brisbane’s National Academy manager, so he sees and works with plenty of Australia’s up-and-coming talent, and has coached Birrell for the past year.
He said Birrell, who was also a semi-finalist at last month’s Australian 18-and-under Championships, sat comfortably alongside the best of them.
“I’ve been fortunate enough to have some of the good, young teenage Australian girls and she’s right up there in her results, but also her personal qualities,” Mahony said.
“Her character is so good. You just know that’s going to give them a chance to maximise that potential, so she’s a fantastic kid and comes from a great family.
“Her dad (John) is a coach as well.
“He spent an incredible number of hours on the court with her when she was young and they’ve done a good job to raise a good player and also a quality person.”
Birrell’s backhand is her standout shot and Mahony also rates her forehand and return of serve as strengths.
Her serve is a work-in-progress, although an abdominal injury that first started bothering her in about August last year has restricted her ability to practice it.
“Her serve is improving and it’s really only been a month she’s been able to practice it properly,” Mahony said.
“She had (the injury) for a couple of months – through August, September – and she’s worked hard to rehab it and move on.
“It seems like it’s pulled up pretty well from the big load of the last three weeks in Hobart, Traralgon and AO and she’s been working hard on her mental side with Ruth Anderson, our psych.”
Three times during Birrell’s Australian Open girls’ semi-final run she came from a set and a break down to win.
She also seemed set to launch a comeback from a set and double break down in yesterday’s semi-final against Croatian Jana Fett.
Birrell recovered one of the breaks and had three further break points in the eighth game of the second set to get back on level terms, but couldn’t quite convert them.
“We saw the benefits of (her mental training) this week,” Mahony said.
“She dug herself out of many holes in several matches, so the confidence she can take in that side of her game out of this performance is huge.
“She’s been working super hard on her fitness as well and committing to get into the gym more and it was just great to see it all come together for her, because she really deserves it.”
Birrell’s best senior scalp so far is Canberra’s then world No.436 Alison Bai.
But her second-round girls’ victory was over No.3 seed Anhelina Kalinina, a Ukrainian who is ranked 341 at WTA level.
“On her given day, she’s proving she’s able to beat that level, but we all know there’s another jump from 300 up to 100 and then another jump from 100 to the top 20,” Mahony said.
“She’s 15 years old and she’s still got to go into her training block, go back to the practice court and watch some film and take the confidence, but learn some things.
“I’m confident she’s going to get there, but it just takes time, physically.
“It’s a long journey and there are not as many young teenagers dominating as there once was. It’s a physical sport now and it takes time, but she’s on the right path.”
Mahony said they were working hard to create a strong team around Birrell and relished the rare opportunity to have her family with her at the Australian Junior Open.