The Gold Coast’s Kimberly Birrell in action against Donna Vekic of Croatia. Picture: AAP
The Gold Coast’s Kimberly Birrell in action against Donna Vekic of Croatia. Picture: AAP

Gold Coast tennis sensation storms into Aus Open third round

RISING Gold Coast tennis star Kimberley Birrell's giant-killing summer has continued with an upset over Australian Open 29th seed Donna Vekic, putting the Aussie into the third round.

Birrell, 20, won her first match at a Major on Monday when she downed qualifier Paula Badosa 6-4 6-2.

On Wednesday afternoon, Birrell won her second, downing Vekic, a Brisbane International semi-finalist last week, 6-4 4-6 6-1 in one hour and 55 minutes.

Birrell played a blemish-free first set as her parents Ros and John - who run the Queens Park Tennis Centre in Southport - watched on.

She was quickly down 0-4 in the second, seemingly going off the boil, but hung tough to storm back and force Vekic to serve it out - which she did 6-4 - to send the match to a deciding set.

The Gold Coast’s Kimberly Birrell racts after wining a point during her match against Donna Vekic. Picture: AAP
The Gold Coast’s Kimberly Birrell racts after wining a point during her match against Donna Vekic. Picture: AAP

Birrell, playing at a level that belied her ranking outside the top 200, went up 5-0 in the third as Vekic started to self-destruct.

Birrell calmly served it out 6-1, winning on her first match point when Vekic dumped a return into the net.

It sets up a potential third-round showdown against 2016 Australian and US Open champion Angelique Kerber, the No.2 seed.

At the Brisbane International, Birrell upset top-10 player Daria Kasatkina.

News Corp Australia


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