Kimberly Birrell (born 29 April 1998) is an Australian tennis player. Birrell has won two ITF Women's Circuit singles and one doubles titles. Birrell reached her best singles ranking of world number 157 on 28 January 2019.
Birrell at the 2014 French Open
|Full name||Kimberly Birrell|
|Residence||Gold Coast, Australia|
|Born||29 April 1998|
|Height||1.70 m (5 ft 7 in)|
|Career titles||2 ITF|
|Highest ranking||No. 157 (28 January 2019)|
|Current ranking||No. 157 (28 January 2019)|
|Grand Slam Singles results|
|Australian Open||3R (2019)|
|French Open||Q1 (2019)|
|Career titles||1 WTA, 1 ITF|
|Highest ranking||No. 235 (1 August 2016)|
|Current ranking||No. 540 (10 December 2018)|
|Grand Slam Doubles results|
|Australian Open||1R (2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019)|
|Last updated on: 16 December 2018.|
Birrell was born in Düsseldorf, Germany, on 29 April 1998 to Australian parents. Her father, John, was working as a tennis coach in Germany at the time of her birth and shortly after relocated his family to Wodonga, Victoria. The family then settled on the Gold Coast, Queensland when Birrell was three years of age as her father took up a role as the head coach of Pat Cash's Tennis Academy. She began playing tennis at the age of four and switched training bases to the Queens Park Tennis Centre in 2008 when her father began managing the club. Queens Park had previously produced top 20 tennis players such as Bernard Tomic and Samantha Stosur, the latter of which would train with Birrell when visiting the club. Birrell attended Coomera Anglican College during her schooling years and graduated in 2015.
Birrell began playing junior ITF under 18 events in July 2011 as a 13-year-old. She reached her first junior ITF final a year later in Sydney and came out victorious over Pamela Boyanov in three sets. Following a strong 2012 season, she made her junior grand slam debut at the 2013 Australian Open at 14 years of age and was beaten by Sweden's Rebecca Peterson in straight sets. She continued to improve her junior ranking throughout 2013 by reaching two finals.
She entered the 2014 Australian Open unseeded and caused several upsets on her way to the semifinals. In the semifinals, at 15 years of age, she was defeated by Croat Jana Fett who two years her senior. She went on to compete in all the remaining grand slams throughout 2014 and reached her highest junior ranking of 18 in the world. Birrell competed in three junior grand slams in 2015 but mostly focused on the professional women's tour.
Birrell competed in her first professional event at the Bendigo Tennis Centre in October 2012 at the age of 14. She gained her first professional ranking point a year later with a straight sets win over Elizabeth James after receiving a wildcard into the main draw of a tournament held in her home state of Queensland. She finished 2013 with a professional singles ranking of 847.
Birrell was awarded a wild card into the doubles main draw of the 2014 Hobart International with compatriot Olivia Tjandramulia, where they lost in the first round to second seeds Lisa Raymond and Zhang Shuai.
In November, Birrell was given wild cards to the two Bendigo Women's International tournaments. In her debut at a $50,000 ITF event, she defeated world number 351 Veronika Kapshay in straight sets.
In 2015, Birrell was awarded a qualifying wild card into the 2015 Hobart International, but lost to Vitalia Diatchenko in straight sets. She was then given a wild card for the 2015 Australian Open qualifying event, where she fell to Kateryna Bondarenko in three sets. She also made her Grand Slam main draw debut by getting one of seven team wildcards in women's doubles alongside Priscilla Hon, but lost to the fifth seeds Raquel Kops-Jones and Abigail Spears.
In March, Birrell qualified for and made the first ITF final of her career in Mildura, but lost to compatriot Alison Bai 3–6, 3–6. Birrell didn't play between April–September, but returned to Australia to play in Tweed Heads, Cairns, Toowoomba, Brisbane and Canberra. Her best results were a final in Brisbane and semi-final in Canberra. She finished the year with a ranking of 361.
2016: WTA Tour debutEdit
Birrell was awarded a wild card into the qualifying rounds of the 2016 Brisbane International, but lost to eventual main draw semi-finalist Samantha Crawford. Birrell made her WTA Tour debut after being awarded a wild card into the main draw at the 2016 Hobart International. She won 6–4 6–3 against world No.57 Danka Kovinic from Montenegro. She lost in round two to Dominika Cibulková. In the same tournament, she partnered Jarmila Wolfe in the doubles where they made the final. On January 12, Birrell was awarded a wild card into the 2016 Australian Open  but lost in round one to 9th seed Karolína Plíšková, 4–6, 4–6. In February, Birrell made her Fed Cup debut against Dominika Cibulkova. She lost 3–6, 1–6. Shortly after, Birrell suffered a right elbow injury, sidelining her for the rest of the year. Birrell ended 2016 with a ranking of 584.
Birrell and her doubles partner, Priscilla Hon, were given a wildcard into the 2017 Australian Open, losing in the first round to Samantha Stosur and Zhang Shuai. Six months later, on July 15, Birrell and doubles partner Caroline Dolehide made the final of the ITF tournament in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, losing to Hiroko Kuwata and Valeria Savinykh in two sets (a win would've marked Birrell's best win at an ITF tournament to date). The next week, in Gatineau, Canada, Birrell and her new doubles partner, Emily Webley-Smith of Great Britain, lost in the final to the same duo - Hiroko Kuwata and Valeria Savinykh - in a third set tiebreak 5–10. Birrell came back at the end of September with a run to the final in the Penrith Tennis International, losing to Olivia Rogowska in two sets. The following week in Brisbane, Australia, Birrell won her first ITF singles title by beating American Asia Muhammad in a tight three sets.
Birrell lost in the first round of qualifying in Brisbane, Sydney and the 2018 Australian Open. In August, she qualified for and reached her first quarter final of the year at the Koser Jewelers Tennis Challenge in Landisville, USA. In September, Kimberly reached the quarter final in the ITF's Cairns Tennis International before winning her second career ITF singles title in the 2018 Darwin Tennis International, where she also reached the final of the doubles. In December 2018, she won the Australian Open Australian Women's Wildcard Playoffs. She ended 2018 with a singles ranking of 285.
2019: First top ten winEdit
Birrell commenced 2019 with a wild card into the Brisbane International, where she claimed her first top 10 win over Daria Kasatkina. At the Australian Open Birrell has so far defeated Paula Badosa Gibert in round 1 and 29th ranked and seeded Donna Vekić in round 2 for her first ever Grand Slam main-draw wins, earning a 3rd round match with 2nd seed Angelique Kerber.
Birrell made her Fed Cup debut for Australia in February 2016 against Slovakia at the age of 17. She was selected to compete against Dominika Cibulkova in the live fourth rubber of the tie and was defeated 6-3 6-1.
WTA career finalsEdit
Doubles: 1 (1 runner-up)Edit
|Loss||0–1||Jan 2016||Hobart International, Australia||International||Hard||Jarmila Wolfe|| Han Xinyun
Singles: 5 (2–3)Edit
|Runner-up||1.||9 March 2015||$15,000||Mildura, Australia||Grass||Alison Bai||3–6, 3–6|
|Runner-up||2.||19 October 2015||$25,000||Brisbane, Australia||Hard||Priscilla Hon||4–6, 3–6|
|Runner-up||3.||24 September 2017||$25,000||Penrith, Australia||Hard||Olivia Rogowska||2–6, 4–6|
|Winner||1.||1 October 2017||$25,000||Brisbane, Australia||Hard||Asia Muhammad||4–6, 6–3, 6–2|
|Winner||2.||28 September 2018||$60,000||Darwin Tennis International, Australia||Hard||Ellen Perez||6–3, 6–3|
Doubles: 4 (1–3)Edit
|Winner||1.||28 September 2015||$15,000||Tweed Heads, Australia||Hard||Tammi Patterson|| Dalma Gálfi
|6–7(3–7), 6–3, [10–8]|
|Runner-up||1.||10 July 2017||$25,000||Winnipeg, Canada||Hard||Caroline Dolehide|| Hiroko Kuwata
|Runner-up||2.||17 July 2017||$25,000||Gatineau, Canada||Hard||Emily Webley-Smith|| Hiroko Kuwata
|6–4, 3–6, [5–10]|
|Runner-up||3.||28 September 2018||$60,000||Darwin, Australia||Hard||Katy Dunne|| Hiroko Kuwata
Grand Slam performance timelineEdit
|Grand Slam tournaments|
Wins over top 10 playersEdit
|1.||Daria Kasatkina||No. 10||Brisbane International, Brisbane, Australia||Hard||1st Round||5–7, 6–4, 7–6(7–3)||No. 283|
- Campbell, Millie (28 June 2017). "The beauty of Birrell". Tennis Australia. Retrieved 29 June 2017.
- Fraser, Andrew (17 September 2011). "Advantage tennis – it's a hotbed of talent on the Gold Coast". The Australian. Retrieved 17 January 2014.
- Potts, Andrew (6 November 2016). "Gold Coast history: Queens Park Tennis Club". Gold Coast Bulletin. Retrieved 31 December 2018.
- Walton, Darren (17 January 2019). "Birrell primed for showdown with Kerber". Newcastle Herald. Retrieved 17 January 2019.
- Gold Coast’s Kimberly Birrell named junior female tennis athlete of year
- Southport tennis star Kimberly Birrell aims for finals
- "Daily preview: Aussies aim to continue winning streak on day three". Hobart International. 7 January 2014. Retrieved 22 January 2014.
- Packman, David (6 November 2014). "Birrell breakthrough in Bendigo". Tennis Australia. Retrieved 6 November 2014.
- "Australian Open: Kimberly Birrell leads girls' charge". The Sydney Morning Herald. 27 January 2015. Retrieved 19 March 2015.
- "BIRRELL SECURES FIRST WTA WIN IN HOBART". www.tennis.com.au. 11 January 2016. Retrieved 11 January 2016.
- "BIRRELL AMONG LAST AUSSIE WILDCARDS FOR OPEN". www.tennis.com.au. 13 January 2016. Retrieved 13 January 2016.
- "Gold Coast tennis ace Kimberly Birrell hopes to play Australian Open after recovering from elbow surgery". Gold Coast Bulletin. 9 November 2016. Retrieved 9 January 2017.
- "Rogowska finishes strongly in Penrith". www.tennis.com/au. 24 September 2017. Retrieved 1 October 2017.
- "Birrell wins maiden title in Brisbane". www.tennis.com/au. 1 October 2017. Retrieved 1 October 2017.
- "BIRRELL, AIAVA SCORE STUNNING WINS IN BRISBANE". Tennis Australia. 31 December 2018. Retrieved 3 January 2019.
- "SHARMA, HIVES, BIRRELL OPEN WITH AO VICTORIES". Tennis Australia. 14 January 2019. Retrieved 14 January 2019.
- "Sam Stosur guides Australia to Fed Cup win over Slovakia". Sydney Morning Herald. 8 February 2016.