Nanchang, China, 17 October 2023 | Rhys de Deugd

Nanchang, China

Kim Birrell boosts her chances of returning to the top-100 in the WTA rankings with a first-round win at the Jiangxi Open in Nanchang, China.

The top-ranked Australian woman made a promising start to her campaign at the WTA 250 tournament, beating local qualifier Sijia Wei 7-5 7-5.

World No.102 Birrell claimed her eighth tour-level win of the season in just shy of two hours to expand on her career-best year.

In a tight two-set match, Birrell was able to capitalise on her Chinese opponent’s serve, breaking serve six times for the match. World No.300 Wei was only able to win 37 per cent of her second serve points.

The win sets up a second-round battle with the winner of top seed Beatriz Haddad Maia and world No.93 Nao Hibino, where Birrell will look to reach her second consecutive quarterfinal.

> READ: Birrell reflects on career-best season

The 25-year-old Australian is also competing in doubles this week alongside Norwegian Ulrikke Eikeri.

Aussies in action – Nanchang

Women’s singles, first round
Kimberly Birrell (AUS)
d Sijia Wei (CHN) 7-5 7-5

Women’s singles, second round
Kimberly Birrell (AUS) v TBC

Women’s doubles, first round
Kimberly Birrell (AUS)/
Ulrikke Eikeri (NOR) v Lidziya Marozava/Katarzyna Piter (POL)
Olivia Tjandramulia (AUS)/ Arianne Hartono (NED) v Diana Shnaider/Camila Osorio (COL)

Tokyo, Japan

Jordan Thompson scored a major upset in the opening round of an ATP 500 tournament in Tokyo, eliminating world No.9 Alexander Zverev in the opening round.

This is the 29-year-old Australian’s third top-10 win of his career.

> READ MORE: Thompson upsets Zverev at Japan Open

Aussies in action – Tokyo

Men’s singles, first round
Jordan Thompson (AUS) d [3] Alexander Zverev (GER) 6-3 6-4
[8] Felix Auger-Aliassime (CAN) d Aleksander Vukic (AUS) 7-6(3) 6-7(2) 6-2
Sebastian Ofner (AUT) d Christopher O’Connell (AUS) 6-7(2) 7-6(5) 7-5
Mackenzie McDonald (USA) d Max Purcell (AUS) 7-5 6-4

Men’s doubles, first round
[WC] Yosuke Watanuki (JPN)/Sho Shimabukuro (JPN) d Nikola Mektic (CRO)/ John Peers (AUS) 6-4 6-2

Men’s singles, first round
[4] Alex de Minaur (AUS) v [Q] Jack Draper (GBR)
Alexei Popyrin (AUS) v [7] Karen Khachanov

Men’s singles, second round
Jordan Thompson (AUS) v TBC

Men’s doubles, first round
Alexei Popyrin (AUS)/Aleksander Vukic (AUS) v Michael Venus (NZL)/Jamie Murray (GBR)
Max Purcell (AUS)/ Rinky Hijikata (AUS) v [LL] Shintaro Mochizuki(JPN)/Rio Noguchi (JPN)

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