Traralgon, Australia, 16 January 2024 | Leigh Rogers

Emerson Jones has charged into the girls’ singles final at the 2024 Traralgon Junior International.

The 15-year-old from the Gold Coast becomes only the third Australian to reach a girls’ singles final at the tournament in the past 15 years, following in the footsteps of Kimberly Birrell (a runner-up in 2015) and Melisa Ercan (the 2023 champion).

The second-seeded Jones sealed her progression with a hard-fought 5-7 7-5 6-2 semifinal victory against Poland’s Monika Stankiewicz.

Jones is currently Australia’s top-ranked junior, sitting at a career-high world No.9 in the ITF World Tennis Tour junior rankings.

The National Tennis Academy athlete has blitzed through the field this week, conceding only a single set across her five matches.

This sets up a final clash with American Iva Jovic, a 16-year-old ranked No.11.

The annual ITF J300 event is one of the biggest junior events held in Australia and attracts many of the world’s top-ranked players ahead of the Australian Open Junior Championships.

Past champions include Roger Federer, Ash Barty, Alexander Zverev, Nick Kyrgios and Iga Swiatek.

Pavle Marinkov, a 17-year-old from Sydney, was hoping to join that illustrious honour roll. However, his quest ended with a three-set semifinal loss to Norway’s Nicolai Budkov Kjaer.

Lily Taylor and Gabrielle Villegas’ winning run in the girls’ doubles competition also came to an end, losing a thriller against the top seeds in the semifinals.

> READ: Wildcards announced for Australian Open 2024 Junior Championships

Aussies in action – Traralgon

Girls’ singles, semifinals
[2] Emerson Jones (AUS)Monika Stankiewicz (POL) 5-7 7-5 6-2

Boys’ singles, semifinals
[2] Nicolai Budkov Kjaer (NOR) d [14] Pavle Marinkov (AUS) 2-6 6-4 6-3

Girls’ doubles, semifinals
[1] Hannah Klugman (GBR)/Mingge Xu (GBR) d Lily Taylor (AUS)/Gabrielle Villegas (AUS) 3-6 6-4 [14-12]

> VIEW: AGL Loy Yang Traralgon Junior International draws

Girls’ singles, final
[2] Emerson Jones (AUS) v [4] Iva Jovic (USA)

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