Birrell out in Australian Open first round | Ralph Lauren

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Wildcard Kim Birrell has gone down fighting on the opening day of the Australian Open at Melbourne Park.

After a tardy start, the 22-year-old Queenslander hit back hard, saving seven match points before finally bowing out to Canadian Rebecca Marino 6-0 7-6 (11-9) in one hour and 44 minutes.

Birrell has only recently returned to the tour after spending 18 months on the sidelines recovering from two bouts of elbow surgery.

Her best performance at a major came at Melbourne Park two years ago when she advanced to the third round before losing to three-time major winner Angelique Kerber.

There are nine Australians scheduled for action on Monday, including Nick Kyrgios, Bernard Tomic and Ajla Tomljanovic.

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