Australian teen Naiktha Bains showed poise beyond her years to move into the second round of 2014 Hobart International qualifying today.
The 16 year-old from Queensland, ranked 1068, was playing just her second career match at WTA level. She faced Maria-Elena Camerin of Italy, a 31 year-old veteran who has a career-high ranking of 41.
The wildcard entrant was not overwhelmed by the occasion or vast difference in experience, recording a comprehensive 6-1 6-4 victory on centre court at the Domain Tennis Centre.
“I was feeling confident in myself,” Bains said post-match. “I knew I could give it a good go.”
Bains next meets sixth-seeded Brazilian Teliana Pereira, who defeated Argentinean Maria Irigoyen 7-5 6-2 earlier today.
“It’s good to get another match tomorrow,” Bains said. “It’s all about matches at this level for me at the moment and just getting the experience, I’m still pretty young.”
Two other Queensland teen wildcard entrants were not as lucky. Montenegro’s Danka Kovinic proved too strong for 16 year-old Olivia Tjandramulia, winning 6-1 6-3, while American Madison Brengle defeated 15 year-old Kimberly Birrell 6-4 6-2.
Azra Hadzic was the last Australian on court for the day and was no match for reigning US Open doubles champion Andrea Hlavackova. The Czech player was dominant, losing just three points on her serve for the match, as she prevailed 6-0 6-1.
Third seed Lourdes Dominguez Lino of Spain crashed out of the qualifying tournament, upset by rising American player Sachia Vickery 7-6 6-3.
Eighth seed Mariana Duque-Marino of Colombia was also bundled out, beaten by France’s Alize Lim 7-5 6-3, while a left knee injury forced no. 5 seed Julia Glushko of Israel out of the tournament, with Glushko retiring while trailing Italian Nastassja Burnett 3-6 0-2.