KEMPENAERS-POCZ ADVANCES TO GIRLS SEMIFINALS AT AO


Photograph: Getty Images

17-year-old Australian Charlotte Kempenaers-Pocz has advanced to the semifinals of the girls singles at the Australian Open with a 6-1, 6-2 demolition of Germany's Carolina Kuhl.


"I’d say I was a little bit relieved but mostly I was excited. Really happy to be playing here and just so pumped for tomorrow," Kempenaers-Pocz told The First Serve.


The Aussie hit a whopping 20 winners and dropped just two points on her serve for the match in the 57-minute obliteration.


Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Kempenaers-Pocz has been unable to travel overseas as much as she would've liked to compete on the junior circuit - hence the fact she's unseeded in the draw.


She spoke of how it's affected her, as well as her fellow Aussie juniors: "I’m not gonna lie, it's been very very tough."


"Most of us Aussies haven’t been able to travel, haven’t been able to get the exposure to the Europeans and everyone overseas. It’s been tough. I’ve just been training a lot, playing the local tournaments and trying to build my game as best I can."


Kempenaers-Pocz plans on using the 2022 season - her last being eligible to play on the junior circuit - to do just that.


"I just want to build up my ITF ranking and play at all the junior slams this year if I have the chance," Kempenaers-Pocz said.


Next up, the Aussie will face No. 8 seed Sofia Costoulas of Belgium for a spot in the final.


Also on Thursday, Kempenaers-Pocz and fellow Australian Taylah Preston suffered a 5-7, 6-7(5) defeat to No. 1 seeds Clervie Ngounoue and Diana Shnaider in the doubles semifinals