BACK VS BIRRELL
Back was staying in the rallies, often 30-30 in crucial points. However, it was Birrell who quickly broke first, despite the great rallies. Despite the score line already being 1-0, Back then went up 15-0 on Birrell’s serve. 15-0 quickly became 30-0- which was a surprise, given there was such a tremendous gap in the rankings between the pair. Back was ranked world number 569, while Birrell was just a few spots shy of world number 100. Nevertheless, Back was really staying in the rallies and was up 30-0 in game 2.
Birrell however goes went a double break. The next important point was a wonderful rally- with Back going left to Birrell’s forehand, cross court. Birrell then made a mistake and lost a point after a ball went wide on Back’s left centre side line off of a fifteen or so shot rally. In the next crucial point, another extended rally ensued- with Back using some clever slices to mix it up. Despite this, she lost the point. Despite getting closer and closer to a 0 score line with every game, Back was actually playing some really clean groundstrokes with a lot of power. If you were to ignore the score line, she was merely losing points at the end of rallies. These were all promising signs for the young up and comer.
The next crucial phase of play was a beautiful rally where Back continued to put pressure on the Birrell and was almost helped by a net cord- with the ball just going over. A bit of power was lost when she went for the overhead and it slowed down her speed in the rally a fraction. Back then held on for deuce a number of times before the brakes eventually gave out as she was handed a 0 score line from Birrell.
In the second set, the decisive point saw Birrell go long and lose the point to allow Jang to gain deuce. Back then won the point gave herself an advantage, with the small home crowd cheering loudly at the first sign of a game all match from Back. Back then started the game with a serve, with a neat rally going left service box, right service box, left service box a few times over. A challenge then a got a game point opportunity for Back- and she capitalised Back was on the board with her first game of the entire match, 3 games into the second set.
In the next point, the rally went cross-court, going from right service line, back to no-man’s land, back to the right service line, back to no man’s land, then back to no man’s and then back left no man’s land. After this exchange, Back had her first break point opportunity of the entire match, after being 0 in the first set and going down to love in a number of games in the second set. An incredible point followed from Back in the next crucial phase of play, and Back did this by staying close to the lines and firing forehands up the line that went around her forehand, Nadal style.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough, and Birrell won the match 6-0 6-1.