Montreal, Canada, 7 August 2023 | Matt Trollope

Montreal, Canada

Kimberly Birrell has secured her place in the main draw of the WTA 1000 event in Montreal after beating Yulia Putintseva in straight sets.

Facing a player who has reached three major quarterfinals and been ranked as high as 27th, Birrell posted a 6-2 6-4 win.

It is the second WTA 1000 event she has qualified for this season, after winning two qualifying rounds at Indian Wells in March.

In the first round, Birrell will face former world No.1 Caroline Wozniacki, the wildcard making her return to professional tennis after retiring three-and-a-half years ago.

Aussies in action – Montreal

Women’s qualifying singles, final round
[13] Kimberly Birrell (AUS) d [7] Yulia Putintseva (KAZ) 6-2 6-4

Women’s singles, first round
[Q] Kimberly Birrell (AUS) v [WC] Caroline Wozniacki (DEN)

Women’s doubles, first round
[2] Storm Hunter (AUS)/Elise Mertens (BEL) v bye
[4] Ellen Perez (AUS)/Nicole Melichar-Martinez (USA) v bye

Toronto, Canada

Further west, Aussies Thanasi Kokkinakis and Max Purcell advanced to the main draw of the ATP Masters 1000 tournament in Toronto.

Kokkinakis beat Frenchman Constant Lestienne 7-6(6) 6-3, marking the first time he has won consecutive matches since his run to the third round at Roland Garros.

He lines up against China’s Zhang Zhizhen in the first round of the main draw.

Purcell, meanwhile, surrendered just three games in a commanding win over local wildcard Brayden Schnur, and next faces another Canadian in No.10 seed Felix Auger-Aliassime.

Fellow Aussies Aleksander Vukic and Chris O’Connell, the top-ranked Australians in the qualifying draw, fell to former top-20 players in the final qualifying round.

Vukic, a recent finalist in Atlanta, lost to former world No.8 Diego Schwartzman, while O’Connell bowed out to former world No.17 Cristian Garin.

In the main draw, Kokkinakis and Purcell join countryman Alex de Minaur, who reached the ATP Los Cabos final on the weekend.

Aussies in action – Toronto

Men’s qualifying singles, final round
[5] Max Purcell (AUS) d [WC] Brayden Schnur (CAN) 6-2 6-1
[7] Thanasi Kokkinakis (AUS) d [13] Constant Lestienne (FRA) 7-6(6) 6-3
[8] Diego Schwartzman (ARG) d [1] Aleksandar Vukic (AUS) 6-4 6-4
[12] Cristian Garin (CHI) d [4] Chris O’Connell (AUS) 7-6(6) 6-4

Men’s singles, first round
Alex de Minaur (AUS) v [11] Cameron Norrie (GBR)
[Q] Max Purcell (AUS) v [10] Felix Auger-Aliassime (CAN)
[Q] Thanasi Kokkinakis (AUS) v Zhang Zhizhen (CHN)

Men’s doubles, first round
[4] 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 [5] 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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