Birrell wins all-Australian battle to advance in Montreal
Nine Australians featured in opening-round qualifying singles matches at the Canadian Open, which is being staged in Montreal and Toronto this week.
Kimberly Birrell has defeated compatriot Daria Saville in the opening round of the qualifying singles competition at a WTA 1000 tournament in Montreal.
The 25-year-old Birrell triumphed 6-3 6-4 in an all-Australian battle that lasted one hour and 45 minutes.
Saville, currently ranked No.163, was contesting her first match on hard court since injuring the ACL in her left knee at Tokyo in September last year.
With her first-ever win at the Canadian Open, world No.114 Birrell moves into a final-round showdown with Kazakhstan’s Yulia Putintseva.
World No.60 Putintseva is a three-time Grand Slam quarterfinalist.
Aussies in action – Montreal
Women’s qualifying singles, first round
 Kimberly Birrell (AUS) d Daria Saville (AUS) 6-3 6-4
 Magdalena Frech (POL) d Storm Hunter (AUS) 6-2 6-2
Women’s qualifying singles, final round
 Kimberly Birrell (AUS) v  Yulia Putintseva (KAZ)
Four Australians have advanced to the final qualifying round at the ATP Masters 1000 event in Toronto.
Aleksandar Vukic and Max Purcell both dismissed Canadian hopes in straight sets to make a promising start to their qualifying quests, while Chris O’Connell and Thanasi Kokkinakis each edged out three-set victories.
Vukic and O’Connell, the top-ranked Australians in the qualifying draw, both face former top-20 players in the final qualifying round.
The top-seeded Vukic meets former world No.8 Diego Schwartzman of Argentina, while fourth seed O’Connell faces former world No.17 Cristian Garin of Chile.
Aussies in action – Toronto
Men’s qualifying singles, first round
 Aleksandar Vukic (AUS) d [WC] Dan Martin (CAN) 6-3 6-4
 Chris O’Connell (AUS) d Thai-son Kwiatkowski (USA) 6-2 2-6 6-4
 Max Purcell (AUS) d Peter Polansky (CAN) 6-2 6-4
 Thanasi Kokkinakis (AUS) d Borna Gojo (CRO) 7-6(4) 4-6 7-5
 Constant Lestienne (FRA) d James Duckworth (AUS) 6-1 2-6 6-4
 Taro Daniel (JPN) d Dane Sweeny (AUS) 7-6(4) 7-5
Men’s qualifying singles, final round
 Aleksandar Vukic (AUS) v  Diego Schwartzman (ARG)
 Chris O’Connell (AUS) v  Cristian Garin (CHI)
 Max Purcell (AUS) v [WC] Brayden Schnur (CAN)
 Thanasi Kokkinakis (AUS) v  Constant Lestienne (FRA)
Men’s singles, first round
Alex de Minaur (AUS) v  Cameron Norrie (GBR)
Men’s doubles, first round
 Matt Ebden (AUS)/Rohan Bopanna (IND) v Bye
John Peers (AUS)/Marcelo Melo (BRA) v Sander Gille (BEL)/Joran Vliegen (BEL)
Max Purcell (AUS)/Andrey Rublev v  Hugo Nys (MON)/Jan Zielinski (POL)
Alex de Minaur (AUS)/Jannik Sinner (ITA) v Marcelo Arevalo (ESA)/Jean-Julien Rojer (NED)
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