Australian tennis player Kimberly Birrell says she is constantly checking the results of Australian players as she feels the "cohort of Australian female tennis is just so amazing." Birrell, a former world No. 154, received a wildcard into the Australian Open qualifying.
Birrell, now ranked at No. 664 in the world, saw off Ekaterine Gorgodze 6-2 6-1 to reach the Australian Open qualifying final round. "I don't even want to know what my screen time is, but yeah, it's just constantly on the AO app and refreshing Tennis Australia's Instagram because that's where they put all the Aussie results," Birrell told the Australian Open website.
"Both the men and the women seem like they're doing really well this week and I feel really proud to be, especially a female, tennis player at the moment. "I think the cohort of Australian female tennis is just so amazing.
I think we're all great people on and off the court … I think we're all rooting for each other, which is a really special feeling."
Birrell absolutely loves playing in Australia
"I think that's a huge benefit that we Aussies have playing here at the start of every year… I really do feel like I'm at home, especially in 2019, those memories are still really fresh in my mind," Birrell said.
"When I saw the schedule that I was playing on Show Court 3, yeah it's one of my favourite courts, so I have some great memories on that court and I felt really comfortable. I think, yeah, it helps us a lot." Birrell will be fighting against Harriet Dart for a place in the Australian Open main draw.
"To be honest even just playing first-round qualies meant so much to me … Each time I step out on the court I'm pinching myself and I feel really grateful," Birrell said. "I'm just really happy to be playing after what I've been through these last couple of years."