All-Aussie finals set in Mildura
Teenagers Harry Bourchier and Kimberly Birrell have progressed to their maiden Pro Tour finals at the 2015 Mildura Grand Tennis International, where they will meet fellow Aussie opponents.
Teenaged Aussies Harry Bourchier and Kimberly Birrell have both progressed to their maiden Pro Tour finals at the 2015 Mildura Grand Tennis International, both needing three sets to defeat their more-fancied opponents on Saturday.
In relatively hot conditions, 19-year-old Tasmanian Bourchier outlasted second seed Dane Propoggia 7-5 3-6 6-3 while 16-year-old Queenslander Birrell came from a set behind to overrun unseeded Frenchwoman Sherazad Reix, 5-7 6-2 6-2.
“It was definitely a good win,” said Bourchier, the eighth seed. “I thought I played a pretty good game, served well and put pressure on his serve.”
Despite dropping the opening set, Birrell – who entered the main draw this week as a lucky loser – said she felt on top throughout her encounter with Reix.
“I felt really good,” she added. “I’m excited for the final.”
The finals will have a distinctly local flavour as both the men’s and women’s events feature all-Australian match-ups.
Bourchier will face Sydney’s Matthew Barton, who put on a sublime display to upstage British top seed Brydan Klein in straight sets 6-3 6-3 in his semifinal affair. The 23-year-old fifth seed will now aim to make it consecutive titles following his win in Port Pirie last week.
Bourchier was forced to retire with a wrist complaint when he met Barton in Port Pirie, but despite carrying the same injury into the early rounds this week, he looks to be fighting fit for the final.
“The wrist held up pretty good,” he said.
Birrell, meanwhile, meets the ACT’s Alison Bai, who had too much firepower for Victorian qualifier Zoe Hives, winning 6-1 6-3.
Although unseeded at this event, Bai has not dropped a set all week and her big-serving game is perfectly suited to grass. As last year’s runner-up, she will be looking to go one better this time around.