Belgian world No.73 Kirsten Flipkens survived a spirited challenge from Australian wildcard Jaimee Fourlis to advance to the second round of the Hobart International today. Flipkens defeated the 17-year-old 7-6(10) 6-4 in an entertaining and high-quality Centre Court showdown.
Flipkens is a former world No.13 and Wimbledon semifinalist, while the 17-year-old Fourlis was competing in her first WTA main draw match. The 30-year-old Belgian admitted the match, which lasted just under two hours, was difficult despite the vast difference in experience.
“It’s always tough to play against a player you don’t know yet,” she said. “She just went out there, had nothing to lose and went for it, so for me it was a good win today.”
Both players had opportunities in a tense first set tiebreak, Flipkens saved two set points before clinching it on her sixth set point.
“I was happy and lucky to get the first set,” Flipkens admitted. “It could have gone both ways.”
Fourlis revealed she was nervous before the match but was proud of how she handled it.
“I just stayed in the moment and took it on,” she explained of her mindset. “I’m definitely disappointed that I didn’t get the win, but she’s a great player.”
“I’m pretty proud of myself as well, it was a great match, so it’s a bit of mixed emotions.”
Flipkens next faces third seed Monica Niculescu, who eliminated former world No.1 Jelena Jankovic yesterday.