Birrell avoids elimination after coming back against Kanepi

Australia’s Kimberly Birrell had lost the first set 6-3 against Estonia’s Kaia Kanepi.

Kanepi, the world no. 29 was then looking in control as she served for the match at 5-4 in the second set.

Kimberly Birrell

That’s when things turned in favour of the Australian. Kanepi was at 15-0 and then lost the next four points to errors, three unforced and one forced.

Birrell comfortable won the next game and momentum as shifting in her favour. The world no. 167, playing in just her fourth Grand Slam tournament took the tiebreaker and then broke in the opening game of the third.

Birrell consolidated the break before breaking and holding for a 4-0 lead. Kanepi held in the fifth game before Birrell held to love, another service break and the match was over. Birrell claiming a well deserved 3-6, 7-6(4), 6-1 victory.

In the opening set Kanepi had 7 unforced errors to 21 from the Australian. The second set it was 20 to 16. The third when things got ugly for Kanepi, it was 15 unforced errors for the Estonian and just one from Birrell.

“She’s a quality player and I knew how deep she’s gone in Slams,” Birrell said after defeating Kanepi, a seven-time Grand Slam quarterfinalist.

“I’m so happy that I won today and I get to play again.”

“I would say, even without this win today, it’s (been) worthwhile,” Birrell said of her comeback.

“I’m doing what I absolutely love and not many people get to wake up and live their dream.”

Birrell now faces Czech teen sensation Linda Fruhvirtova, who recorded a 6-0 6-4 win against Australia’s Jaimee Fourlis.

Fruhvirtova already has a WTA title to her name after claiming the WTA250 Chennai Open.

Birrell’s only other Grand Slam singles wins came in 2019 at the Australian Open when she reached the third round.

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