Qualifier Jana Fett has completed a confidence-boosting victory over Francesca Schiavone, winning 6-3 6-2 to progress to the second round of the Hobart International.
After missing nine months in 2016 due to wrist surgery, the victory means a lot to the 20-year-old Croatian.
“This is a good start. I’ve been injured last year, so I started playing again in October. This is really exciting because coming back from injury can be tough,” she said.
Fett was not daunted by the impressive career record of former world No.4 Schiavone, who won the French Open in 2010.
“When you go to the court, you always expect to win, but that was surprising as she is a very good player. She’s won a Grand Slam, so this is really exciting,” Fett said.
Fett now faces Australian wildcard Lizette Cabrera in the second round.
“We’re pretty good friends. I’ve played her a couple of times, but it’ll be tough. I’m looking forward to that though,” Fett said.
Schiavone, a wildcard entry into the tournament, struggled to find her rhythm in her first match in Hobart since 2013.
“She (Fett) was playing good, but in this kind of match I have to take care of my play and hit the ball, and I couldn’t find a great feeling,” Schiavone said. “I was ready to do it much better, so I’m upset, so I need to think about what’s happened today.”
The 36-year-old confirmed this would be the last time she contests the Hobart International, as 2017 is her farewell season.
“This year I want to give everything that I have, and everything that I’ve learnt over the last 15 years of my career,” the Italian veteran said. “This is a great tournament before the Australian Open. It’s great every time that I come here to see all of the people that love tennis.”
Schiavone will return to the Domain Tennis Centre later this week in the doubles competition.