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HIJIKATA GOES BACK TO BACK

Posted By Brett Phillips  
26/07/2021
07:00 AM

20 year old New South Welshman Rinky Hijikata has won his third pro singles title overnight and his second in a row with victory at the ITF 15K in Edwardsville, Illinois.

He accounted for American third seed Strong Kirchheimer 6-3, 6-1, including seven aces, landed 65% first serves in, winning 74% of points on that first serve and converted 5/8 break point opportunities to claim a straight sets win.

Hijikata is now 14/3 singles since leaving Australia in mid June, with two titles to his name and has improved his ranking from 770 to 643, with hopefully more to come for a young man with a lot of talent.

19 year old Queenslander Tina Nadine Smith just fell short in her ITF 15K final in Cairo going down 5-7, 6-7 to Leyre Romero Gormaz of Spain, but has improved her ranking to a career high 790. Smith left Australia in February and has played her entire season on the clay improving her ranking from 945 to 790 with a 25/19 win loss record.

Unfortunately for Jason Kubler who has had more than his fair share of injuries across his career, he had to retire in his ATP Challenger final in Nur Sultan 3-6, 1-2 down against former World Number 39 Andrey Kuznetsov of Russia.

The 28 year old has gone 14/5 since his return to the tour in early June. For this run to the final the Queenslander moved up 33 spots to 272 in the world.

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