Melbourne, Australia, 5 December 2023 | Rhys de Deugd

Proving herself as one of Australia’s brightest prospects, Kimiko Cooper is off to a strong start at this year’s December Showdown at Melbourne Park.

As the second seed in the 18-and-under Australian Championships girls’ singles draw, the youngster from Sydney has won her first two matches in the round-robin stage.

The 15-year-old defeated fellow New South Wales rising star Gabby Gregg 6-4 6-1 in her second round-robin encounter and is setting herself up as a great chance of winning the title.

“Today, my match was a lot better than yesterday,” Cooper said after defeating her seventh-seeded opponent.

“I went out and I was more aggressive, I was able to compete, defend well, and I added the element of coming forward and taking more risks. Which is how I want to play.”

Although they know each other well, this is her first tournament match-up against Gregg, who won the 16/u Australian Championships girls’ singles title at the December Showdown in 2022.

“I tried to counter her forehand and mix it up with some shape and some flat balls,” Cooper said. “Mixing it up was key for me.”

Kimiko Cooper in the 18/u championships at the 2023 December Showdown at Melbourne Park on Monday, December 4, 2023. Photo by TENNIS AUSTRALIA/ AARON FRANCIS

Kimiko Cooper in action at the 2023 December Showdown. Picture: Tennis Australia

The Sydneysider has enjoyed an outstanding year of strong results in tournaments around the world, spring-boarding her to break into the top 200 in the ITF World Junior Tour rankings.

Cooper is thrilled to be playing December Showdown after missing out on the event last year, when she was participating at the Orange Bowl in Florida, USA.

“It’s great being back here in Melbourne, I haven’t played December Showdown since 2019,” she said.

“This is a really important event, it’s a great lead-up to the AO and Traralgon.”

With the round-robin stage of the 18/u Australian Championships finishing tomorrow, Cooper has already locked away a spot in the knock-out quarterfinals.

> FOLLOW: Live scores from the December Showdown

The boys’ and girls’ singles finals for the 18/u Australian Championships will be played on Saturday 9 December.

“It would mean a lot to do well and it would be a good confidence booster for me if I can have a good run and maybe go all the way,” Cooper said.


Girls’ singles, round-robin
[2] Kimiko Cooper (NSW) d [7] Gabby Gregg (NSW) 6-4 6-1
[3] Ashlee Narker (NSW) d [6] Gabrielle Villegas (Vic) 6-4 6-4
[4] Jelena Cvijanovic (Vic) d [5] Isabella Crossman (Vic) 6-2 6-1
Elizabeth Ivanov (NSW) d [1] Lily Taylor (Qld) 7-6(6) 4-1 ret
Elim Yan (SA) d [Q] Amelia Zylberman (Vic) 3-6 6-0 6-1
[Q] Ashley Katz (NSW) d Cara Korhonen (Qld) 6-3 6-4
[Q] Sarah Mildren (SA) d [WC] Bridget Mihulka (Vic) 6-4 6-2
[Q] Susannah Su (NSW) d [WC] Alice Stevens (WA) 6-4 4-6 6-3

Boys’ singles, round-robin
[1] Alexander Despoja (SA) d [8] Rohan Hazratwala (Qld) 6-0 5-7 6-0
[2] Cooper Errey (Vic) d [7] Cruz Hewitt (NSW) 6-1 3-6 7-6(5)
[3] Zane Stevens (Qld) d [6] Lachlan McFadzean (NSW) 6-4 6-1
[5] Daniel Jankoski (NSW) d [4] Daniel Jovanovski (Vic) 2-6 6-1 6-3
Nicolas Tremblay (NT) d [Q] Elijah Dikkenberg (ACT) 4-5 ret
Jay Fairclough (WA) d [Q] Oliver James King (Qld) 6-3 6-3
[Q] Michael Korobitsin (Vic) d [WC] Jonas Hahn (SA) 6-4 4-4 ret
[Q] Diordan Macababbad (Vic) d Boyd Schreiber (NSW) 6-4 3-6 6-1

> VIEW: 18/u Australian Championships draws

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