Aussies finding top form on grass
Seven Australians - Ellen Perez, Arina Rodionova, Alex Bolt, Marc Polmans, Matt Reid, Storm Sanders and Priscilla Hon - have made grass-court finals in the United Kingdom this week.
Australian Ellen Perez is through to the doubles final at this week’s WTA 250 tournament in Birmingham.
Perez and Tunisian partner Ons Jabeur recovered from a 3-6 0-5 deficit to defeat top seeds Hsieh Su-Wei and Elise Mertens in the semifinals. Their 3-6 7-5 [10-3] win sets up a final showdown with Czechs Marie Bouzkova and Lucie Hradecka.
It is Perez’s third WTA-level doubles final of the season. The 25-year-old won the Guadalajara title with fellow Australian Astra Sharma in March and was also a finalist at Charleston alongside Storm Sanders.
Aussies in action – Birmingham
Women’s doubles, semifinals
Ellen Perez (AUS)/Ons Jabeur (TUN) d  Hsieh Su-Wei (TPE)/Elise Mertens (BEL) 3-6 7-5 [10-3]
Women’s doubles, final
Ellen Perez (AUS)/Ons Jabeur (TUN) v Marie Bouzkova (CZE)/Lucie Hradecka (CZE)
Arina Rodionova is having a stellar week at an ITF tournament in Nottingham, where she has qualified for her first singles final since October 2019.
The 31-year-old qualifier has won six matches to advance to the final, where she’ll meet top-seeded Belgian Alison Van Uytvanck. Rodionova booked her spot in the final when Bulgarian and former Wimbledon semifinalist Tsvetana Pironkova retired after the first set of their semifinal.
This is the biggest singles final of Rodionova’s career, who is aiming to win her first title since April 2018.
Alex Bolt will feature in the ATP Challenger singles final in Nottingham, with the 28-year-old Australian scoring a straight-sets win against American Mackenzie McDonald in the semifinals.
Bolt entered this tournament on a nine-match losing streak, but has returned to form in impressive fashion. The world No.195 has won six matches this week, including victory against world No.54 and top seed Richard Gasquet in the quarterfinals. He now faces Poland’s Kamil Majchrzak for the title.
It is Bolt’s first finals appearance since February last year.
Matt Reid won his second ATP Challenger doubles title in as many weeks, combining with fellow Aussie Marc Polmans to beat French duo Benjamin Bonzi and Antoine Hoang.
It is Reid’s fourth ATP Challenger doubles title of the season and a third for Polmans.
Back-to-back on the grass 🌱
Four titles with four different partners in 2021 for the 🇦🇺. pic.twitter.com/b9miDfJPV6
— ATP Challenger Tour (@ATPChallenger) June 19, 2021
Storm Sanders and Priscilla Hon finished runners-up in the women’s doubles competition in Nottingham.
Aussies in action – Nottingham
Women’s singles, semifinals
[Q] Arina Rodionova (AUS) d Tsvetana Pironkova (BUL) 6-4 ret.
Men’s singles, semifinals
[Q] Alex Bolt (AUS) d Mackenzie McDonald (USA) 6-3 6-4
Women’s doubles, final
 Monica Niculescu (ROU)/Elena Gabriela Ruse (ROU) d Storm Sanders (AUS)/Priscilla Hon (AUS) 7-5 7-5
Men’s doubles, final
 Marc Polmans (AUS)/Matt Reid (AUS) d  Benjamin Bonzi (FRA)/Antoine Hoang (FRA) 6-4 4-6 [10-8]
Women’s singles, final
[Q] Arina Rodionova (AUS) v  Alison Van Uytvanck (BEL)
Men’s singles, final
[Q] Alex Bolt (AUS) v Kamil Majchrzak (POL)
Three Australians are through to the final qualifying round in Eastbourne, where an ATP 250 tournament and WTA 500 event are being played.
Ajla Tomljanovic continued her good form to beat American Lauren Davis in straight sets, while James Duckworth scored a comfortable victory against Romania’s Filip Cristian Jianu.
Max Purcell upset former Wimbledon finalist Kevin Anderson in a three-set battle. It is one of the biggest singles wins of the 23-year-old’s career.
Aussies in action – Eastbourne
Men’s qualifying singles, first round
 James Duckworth (AUS) d Filip Cristian Jianu (ROU) 6-4 6-3
Max Purcell (AUS) d  Kevin Anderson (RSA) 7-6(7) 4-6 6-3
 Ilya Ivashka (BLR) d John-Patrick Smith (AUS) 6-4 7-6(3)
Women’s qualifying singles, first round
 Ajla Tomljanovic (AUS) d Lauren Davis (USA) 6-1 7-6(7)
Men’s qualifying singles, final round
 James Duckworth (AUS) v [WC] Alastair Gray (GBR)
Max Purcell (AUS) v  Ilya Ivashka (BLR)
Women’s qualifying singles, final round
 Ajla Tomljanovic (AUS) v Camila Giorgi (ITA)
Men’s singles, first round
 Alex de Minaur (AUS) v Bye
John Millman (AUS) v [WC] Jay Clarke (GBR)
Alexei Popyrin (AUS) v  Cameron Norrie (GBR)
Women’s singles, first round
[WC] Sam Stosur (AUS) v Qualifier
Men’s doubles, first round
Max Purcell (AUS)/Luke Saville (AUS) v [WC] Lloyd Glasspool (GBR)/Harri Heliovaara (FIN)
John Peers (AUS)/John-Patrick Smith (AUS) v Alexander Bublik (KAZ)/Nicholas Monroe (USA)