Aussie women Mendez and Birrell scoop ITF singles titles
Eight Australians, including title-winners Seone Mendez and Kimberly Birrell, advanced to finals at professional tournaments in the past week.
Wimbledon is not the only place where Australia’s best players have been shining on the world stage this week.
Kimberly Birrell enjoyed an impressive run in Portugal, winning her second singles title of the season.
The 25-year-old from the Gold Coast triumphed 4-6 6-3 6-1 against Arina Rodionova in an all-Australian final at an ITF 25 tournament in Cantanhede.
It continues a career-best season for Birrell, whose ranking peaked at No.110 in May.
Seone Mendez made a title-winning run of her own at ITF level in Spain, while Astra Sharma advanced to her biggest singles final in more than two years at an ITF tournament in France.
Meanwhile in America, Tristan Schoolkate produced career-best results at ATP Challenger level. The 22-year-old advanced to his first singles semifinal and won the doubles title alongside fellow Aussie Adam Walton.
The future looks bright too, with 10 Australian players contesting finals at ITF junior events across the past week.
Four of these junior players – Kimiko Cooper, Diana Badalyan, Jarrod Joyce and Marcus Schoeman – enjoyed title-winning runs.
The most outstanding Australian performers this week include:
Tristan Schoolkate: The 22-year-old advanced to his first ATP Challenger singles semifinal. Schoolkate won five matches to reach the final four at Bloomfield Hills (USA) as a qualifier.
Tristan Schoolkate and Adam Walton: The Aussie duo were crowned doubles champions at an ATP Challenger tournament in Bloomfield Hills. It is the second career ATP Challenger doubles title for both 22-year-old Schoolkate and 24-year-old Walton.
Blake Ellis and Calum Puttergill: The 24-year-old Ellis and 29-year-old Puttergill were doubles finalists at the ATP Challenger in Bloomfield Hills. It was Ellis’ first doubles final appearance of the season and Puttergill’s third.
Omar Jasika: The 26-year-old advanced to the singles quarterfinals and doubles semifinals (with Japan’s Hiroki Moriya) at the ATP Challenger event in Bloomfield Hills.
Matthew Romios: The 24-year-old made the doubles semifinals alongside Poland’s Piotr Matuszewski at an ATP Challenger tournament in Karlsruhe (Germany).
Astra Sharma: The 27-year-old was a singles finalist at an ITF 60 tournament in Montpellier (France) and also advanced to the doubles semifinals with France’s Estelle Cascino. A resurgent Sharma has won eight of her past 10 singles matches.
Seone Mendez: The 24-year-old won the singles title at an ITF 25 tournament in Getxo (Spain). This is Mendez’s 13th career ITF singles title and her second of the season. The in-form world No.355 has won 15 of her past 19 matches.
Kimberly Birrell: The 25-year-old won her fifth career singles title – and second of the season – at an ITF 25 tournament in Cantanhede (Portugal).
Arina Rodionova: The 33-year-old advanced to her fifth singles final of the season. With her runner-up finish in Cantanhede, Rodionova improved her season record to 40 wins from 56 matches.
Lily Fairclough and Maya Joint: The Aussie duo finished runners-up in doubles at an ITF J300 tournament in Roehampton. The 17-year-old Joint also made the singles quarterfinals as a qualifier.
Emerson Jones: The 14-year-old advanced to the doubles semifinals at an ITF J300 tournament in Roehampton. Jones is currently ranked No.19 in the world junior rankings.
Kimiko Cooper: The 15-year-old won the girls’ singles title at the ITF J60 tournament on the Gold Coast, beating Ashlee Narker in an all-Australian final. It is Cooper’s second, and biggest, junior ITF singles title.
Kimiko Cooper and Diana Badalyan: The Aussie pair claimed the girls’ doubles title at the ITF J60 event on the Gold Coast, beating another Australian combination of Isabella Crossman and Kristina Tai in the final. It is Cooper’s first ITF doubles title and 15-year-old Badalyan’s third.
Jarrod Joyce and Marcus Schoeman: The 17-year-old Aussies combined to win the boys’ doubles title at the ITF J60 tournament on the Gold Coast. It is Joyce’s third ITF junior doubles title and Schoeman’s second.
Daniel Jovanovski: The 15-year-old recorded runner-up finishes in the boys’ singles and boys’ doubles (with Turkey’s Kemal Arda Karakas) events at the ITF J60 on the Gold Coast.
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