BIRRELL THE SOLE AUSSIE WINNER ON DAY THREE OF AUSTRALIAN OPEN QUALIFYING


Eight Aussies were in action, but 23-year-old Kimberly Birrell was the sole winner on day three of Australian Open qualifying at Melbourne Park.

The Queenslander put in a marvellous performance to take down No. 22 seed Ekaterine Gorgodze of Georgia 6-2, 6-1 in just 62 minutes.


Birrell has been through a tumultuous run with injury since reaching the third round of the main draw at Melbourne Park in 2019, and is grateful to be back out on the court competing.

“Each time I step out on the court I'm pinching myself and I feel really grateful," Birrell said in her post-match media conference.

"I'm just really happy to be playing after what I've been through these last couple of years.”

The Aussie hit a whopping 24 winners and won 7/7 net points in a brilliant display on Show Court 3.

She will face British No. 11 seed Harriet Dart for a spot in the main draw.

Fellow Australians Marc Polmans, Jason Kubler, Philip Sekulic, Taylah Preston, Rinky Hijikata, Dane Sweeny and Max Purcell were all in action on day three of qualifying action, but lost their respective matches.

20-year-old Hijikata was forced to retire midway through his match with 30th seed Damir Dzumhur 4-6, 1-2ret as he limped around the court with a foot injury.

Jason Kubler attempted a remarkable comeback against No. 12 seed Tomas Martin Etcheverry, coming from 3-5 (0-40) down in the second set to turn things around and force a decider, but he was eventually defeated 5-7, 7-5, 3-6.


Max Purcell suffered a 6-7(2), 6-7(8) defeat to No. 18 seed Jiri Lehecka of the Czech Republic.


Lehecka sealed the victory with a second serve ace down the tee, which looked so far out that Purcell took a photo of the ball mark on the court after the match.

Marc Polmans fought hard as he always does, but couldn’t get over the line against No. 17 seed João Sousa of Portugal.


Polmans saved five match points as he attempted to keep his main draw hopes alive, but eventually went down 6-3, 0-6, 4-6 in one hour and 56 minutes.