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Day three preview: Petkovic, Niculescu, Cabrera in action

10 January 2017, by Leigh Rogers

German Andrea Petkovic has fallen in love with Hobart in her first visit to the city – and today she gets to play on Centre Court at the Domain Tennis Centre for the first time.

The former world No.9 meets Paraguayan Veronica Cepede Royg in the opening match of the day. Cepede Royg, the world No.129, has reached the second round of the Hobart International as a lucky loser for the second consecutive year. It is the first meeting between the pair.

> Read about Petkovic’s thoughts on Hobart

Next on court is Belgian qualifier Elise Mertens, who yesterday stunned seventh seed Kristina Mladenovic in the first round, against American Sachia Vickery.

> Read about Mertens’ career-best round one win

Third seed and world No.40 Monica Niculescu, competing in Hobart for an eighth time, meets former world No.13 Kirsten Flipkens in the third match.

“It’s always strange to play her because she plays with her forehand slice and I play with my backhand slice. We always have some interesting matches,” Flipkens said of the match-up.

Flipkens, who is celebrating her 31st birthday today, has won three of their five previous matches, including their first-ever clash in the Hobart quarterfinals in 2013.

“She’s the only player in the top 200 who plays this type of game, so it’s always tough to play her,” the Belgian world No.73 admitted. “You never play against this type of player, that is what makes her so good. Against her, you never know.

“I’m just going to go out there and do my best.”

Second seeds Kiki Bertens and Johanna Larsson, our 2015 doubles champions, close the day session with a round one doubles clash against Romanian Raluca Olaru and Ukrainian Olga Savchuk.

Australian Lizette Cabrera made headlines in her stunning WTA main draw debut, upsetting Japan’s Misaki Doi to record her first top 40 win on Sunday.

> Read about Cabrera’s first round win

The 19-year-old wildcard now headlines the night session with her second round match against Croatian qualifier Jana Fett. The pair practiced together earlier this week and are both competing in their first WTA main draw here.

Italian Francesca Schiavone, competing in Hobart for the last time, returns to Centre Court with French partner Pauline Parmentier for a doubles clash with Dutchwoman Demi Schuurs and Czech Renata Voracova in the final match of the night session.

> See the full order of play

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