Rogowska finishes strongly in Penrith
Olivia Rogowska opens her Australian Pro Tour with a title win over Queensland teenager Kimberly Birrell at the ITF $25,000 event in Penrith.
Second seed Olivia Rogowska has enjoyed a strong end to her week in Penrith, taking the title over a resurgent Kimberly Birrell 6-2 6-4 in Sunday’s final.
“I’m absolutely stoked to come away with the trophy,” Rogowska said. “I didn’t play my best tennis in the first couple of rounds but I fought hard and I was really happy with the way I mentally managed to get through some tough matches.
“By the end of the week I was serving and returning extremely well. I was playing really aggressively. My mentality has also really helped me too. I will try and bring that with me next week in Brisbane.”
The 26-year-old’s last title came in Cairns nearly a year ago.
“I’ve struggled with a couple of injuries since then so I haven’t played as much as I wanted to,” Rogowksa said. “But I’m fully 100% physically ready again now and my body is feeling great after a tough week.
“I’m still taking it week-by-week and not getting too far ahead of myself,” she added. “My main goal (for the Australian Pro Tour) was to defend my points from Cairns and I’ve done that in the first week so it definitely takes a lot of pressure off my shoulders.”
Despite falling in the Penrith final, Birrell took some solid strides during the week as she attempts to find the way back from injury towards her former career-high ranking of world No.275. The Queensland teenager was a winner over Zoe Hives on Thursday before backing that up with a straight sets victory over the top seed, American Asia Muhammad, in their semifinal.
Rogowksa was stopped short of taking both titles at the Penrith Tennis International after she and partner Tammi Patterson – the No.1 seeds – were beaten by Naiktha Bains and Abigail Tere-Apisah (No.2) in Friday’s final.