Home » Aussie weekly wrap: Birrell scores top-100 victory to claim ITF title in Japan

Aussie weekly wrap: Birrell scores top-100 victory to claim ITF title in Japan

Australian Kimberly Birrell dropped only a single set during an impressive run at an ITF 75 tournament in Fukuoka this week.

Fukuoka, Japan , 13 May 2024 | Leigh Rogers

Kimberly Birrell was a standout performer among the Australians competing on the world stage this week.

The 26-year-old from the Gold Coast claimed one of the biggest singles titles of her career at an ITF 75 tournament in Japan, triumphing against world No.97 Emina Bektas in the final.

This is Birrell’s second top-100 win this season and marks the first time she has beaten a top 100-ranked opponent in a final.

With her victory, Birrell also becomes just the second Australian woman to win a four or more titles at ITF 60 level or above. She joins Jelena Dokic as the only other player to accomplish this feat since ITF World Tennis Tour records began in 1994.

It proved a highlight in a week where Australian players shone at all levels, from junior to masters events.

The Australian teams performed strongly at the World Team Cup in Turkey, which is the biggest teams event on the wheelchair tennis calendar.

The Australian junior boys’ team, consisting of Benjamin Wenzel, Yassin Hill and Jin Woodman, finished runners-up in their event.

The quad team, featuring Heath Davidson and Finn Broadbent, also claimed a podium finish, taking out third-place.

A strong Australian contingent also impressed at the ITF Masters World Individual Championships in Mexico, earning 15 medals across the 50+, 55+ and 60+ age groups.

> READ MORE: Five Australians win gold medals at 2024 ITF Masters World Individual Championships

This week’s most outstanding performers include:

Alex de Minaur: The 25-year-old is enjoying a career-best run in singles at the ATP Masters 1000 tournament in Rome (Italy), progressing through to the third round. He next faces Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime.

Matt Ebden: The 36-year-old’s quest to regain the world No.1 ranking is still alive at the ATP Masters 1000 event in Rome, progressing to the second round in doubles alongside Indian partner Rohan Bopanna.

Aleksandar Vukic: The 28-year-old scored his first main-draw win at an ATP Masters 1000 clay-court tournament, beating former world No.8 Diego Schwartzman in the opening round in Rome.

Calum Puttergill: The 30-year-old won the doubles title at an ATP Challenger tournament in Wuxi (China) alongside American Reese Stalder. It is Puttergill’s 10th career title and first since April 2023.

Philip Sekulic: The 20-year-old was a singles semifinalist at an ATP Challenger tournament in Wuxi. This was Sekulic’s best result since July 2023.

Matthew Romios: The 25-year-old teamed with Poland’s Piotr Matuszewski to reach the doubles semifinals at the ATP Challenger tournament in Wuxi. It was their third semifinal appearance at this level together this season.

Adam Walton: The 25-year-old advanced to his seventh singles quarterfinal of the season at ATP Challenger level, reaching the final eight in Wuxi. The in-form Walton has now won 13 of his 17 past matches.

Kimberly Birrell: The 26-year-old was crowned the singles champion at an ITF 75 tournament in Fukuoka (Japan). It is Birrell’s sixth career ITF singles title and her biggest since February 2023.

Arina Rodionova: The 34-year-old was a singles quarterfinalist at the ITF 75 tournament in Fukuoka. Rodionova has now won six of her past eight matches.

> READ: Rodionova “putting in the hours and hard work always helps”

Olivia Gadecki: The 22-year-old progressed to her first singles quarterfinal of the season at an ITF 75 tournament in Saint-Gaudens (France). Gadecki was also a doubles quarterfinalist alongside Brit Alicia Barnett.

Jaimee Fourlis: The 24-year-old won the doubles title at an ITF 75 tournament in Prague (Czech Republic) alongside Czech Dominika Salkova. It is Fourlis’ seventh career doubles title and her biggest in 12 months. 

Heath Davidson: The 37-year-old played a starring role in Australia’s third-place finish in the quad wheelchair event at the World Team Cup in Antalya (Turkey), winning eight of his 10 matches across the week.

Hayden Jones: The 17-year-old claimed the boys’ singles title at an ITF J300 tournament in Nonthaburi (Thailand). It is Jones’ third ITF junior singles title of the season, improving his record this year to 24 wins from 27 matches.

Ty Host: The 16-year-old was a boys’ singles semifinalist at the ITF J300 tournament in Nonthaburi. Host also advanced to the doubles semifinals alongside New Zealand’s Harry Pugh.

Lily Taylor: The 17-year-old reached the girls’ singles semifinals at the ITF J300 tournament in Nonthaburi. Taylor was also a doubles quarterfinalist with India’s Krisha Mahendran.

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