Aussie teens set to impress in Bendigo
Kimberly Birrell and Priscilla Hon will aim to emulate their good form of late when they descend on regional Victoria for the $50,000 William Loud Bendigo International.
While the 2015 William Loud Bendigo International won’t feature an Aussie seeded player this year, a contingent of in-form teenagers will look to make even bigger gains on local soil.
Queenslander Kimberly Birrell has put together an impressive run of late, making the semifinals in Canberra last week to accompany her runner-up performance in Brisbane the week prior.
The 17-year-old takes on fourth seed Zhang Yuxuan of China in the first round before a potential match-up with either Olivia Tjandramulia – another of the talented Queensland youngsters – or rising Brit Katy Dunne.
Should either Australian progress further, a potential semifinal meeting with top seed, Japan’s Eri Hozumi, is on the horizon.
The last of the Queensland teen trio is 17-year-old Priscilla Hon, already a two-time winner on the Australian Pro Tour after capturing the title in Mornington and more recently tasting success at home in Brisbane.
She faces West Australian Storm Sanders who is looking to recapture her form of early 2014 when she reached a career-high ranking of world No.202.
Hon goes in as the slight favourite – both on ranking and current form – but this looks set to be one of the standout matches of the opening round.
Lastly, 15-year-old wildcard Destanee Aiava – who also qualified for the main draw last week in Canberra – makes an exciting first time appearance in Bendigo and will hope to impress in her home state.
She will have her work cut out for her against the third seed, Japan’s Misa Eguchi, who has reached the latter stages of several Australian Pro Tour events this year already.
The winner will face either Hon or Sanders in the second round.
Tammi Patterson has also continued her good form in qualifying for the main draw alongside 20-year-old Masa Jovanovic. The Australians each now face fellow qualifiers respectively in Japan’s Mizuno Kijima and American Jennifer Elie.
In other notable first round matches, Canberra’s Alison Bai takes on big-hitting American Asia Muhammad – the title winner in Bai’s hometown last week – while Victorian Sally Peers faces Dutch second seed Cindy Burger.