Belgian Elise Mertens is having a week to remember in her first visit to Hobart. She is appreciating the picturesque city – and her on-court form is impressing her new fans.
The 21-year-old who trains at the Kim Clijsters Academy in Belgium has qualified for her second WTA quarterfinal and done so with two top-1oo wins, doubling her career-record. This included a 6-3 6-4 win over world No.99 Nao Hibino in the first round of qualifying and a sensational 6-1 6-2 win against world No.45 Kristina Mladenovic in the main draw first round.
Her next challenge is the tournament’s top seed, world No.22 Kiki Bertens. Can Mertens continue her career-best run?
Before her quarterfinal, we asked her to finish these sentences…
My goal for 2017 is… top 100.
The best lesson I learnt in 2016 was… just getting more experiences and getting to play against top players.
I love being a tennis player because… I just love tennis.
The hardest part of being a tennis player is… travelling, much jetlag and missing my friends and family back at home.
My worst habit is… I guess I love too many animals. (She has over 30 pets including four dogs and lots of birds)
My favourite pre-match meal is… pasta.
The best concert I’ve ever been to was… Avicii.
My dream doubles partner is… Kim Clijsters.
The most random item in my tennis bag is… towels from at home.
If I could steal one shot from another player, it would be… really aggressive strokes from Serena (Williams).
My favourite social media channel is… Facebook.
When I think of Australia, I think… lovely nature and lovely people.
I think Hobart is… the best!