Melbourne VIC, Australia, 22 January 2014 | Rob Sheeley

For a junior tennis player, learning more about the game every time you step on the court is vital.

Kimberly Birrell showed today how much that a little bit of new knowledge, combined with a lot of hard work and deft execution can make a big difference.

At the Traralgon Junior International last week, Birrell lost her quarterfinal to Fiona Ferro from France 6-2 6-4. Today at the Australian Open, she reversed the result, defeating the tournament’s 15th seed in straight sets 6-4 6-1.

“I think that playing her last week was really good,” Birrell said after the win.

“I was able to see her game and my coach and I came up with a better game plan and we were much more prepared. I knew what I was in for.”

The junior Australian Open provides a great opportunity for the young players to play in front of larger crowds than they would at a lot of their tournaments throughout the year. The atmosphere on Show Court 3 for Birrell’s match was electric today, something that the 15-year-old revelled in.

“The atmosphere everywhere and especially around the court today was really good, I’m really grateful to everyone who came out and supported me, I think that it definitely helped me.”

Birrell is now the sole Australian left in the girls’ draw but says that the support from the other girls from Australia is always a positive when they play tournaments together.

“All of the Aussie girls have been really supportive of me and that helps a lot.

“We are all really quite good friends. We train together and support each other through wins and losses.”

In 2013, the Queenslander made two junior singles finals in Denmark and New Zealand. While she is keen not to get ahead of herself, she says that a title is definitely something that she is targeting this year.

“Obviously that is the goal, but this week I’m just trying to play one match at a time, I’m just really excited to be able to play tomorrow.”

Awaiting Birrell in the quarterfinal tomorrow is the tournament’s No.10 seed from Russia Anastasiya Komardina. They have never met in a singles match but are more than familiar with each other.

“I’m pretty good friends with her off the court actually.

“I haven’t played her in singles before but I’ve played against her in doubles, so I know a little bit about her.

” I think it’ll be a really great match and I’m really looking forward to it.”