Day four preview: Fourlis leads local charge

10 January 2018, by

Can Australian Jaimee Fourlis reach her first WTA quarterfinal?

That’s what the 18-year-old wildcard is aiming to do when she takes on Brit Heather Watson in second round action today.

Watson, who won the Hobart International title in 2015, is an experienced competitor. However Fourlis’ confidence is growing after winning the 18 and under Australian Championships last month then scoring her first WTA level win this week.

“Every match counts, every match is really important and every point you play helps build momentum and confidence,” Fourlis said.

> Fourlis’ thoughts on playing Watson

> Watson visits Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary

Fourlis’ showdown with Watson is the first match on Centre Court, beginning at noon.

American Alison Riske follows, aiming to reach her third Hobart International quarterfinal when she takes on Belgian qualifer Kirsten Flipkens.

After a tough first round win over No.8 seed Katerina Siniakova, Riske was unable to explain her good record in Hobart.

“I really don’t know. The courts play really nice, they are a little bit on the quick side which I definitely enjoy,” Riske said.

“I think just being in Australia, there is a great feel about it no matter where you play – whether you’re on the mainland or down here in Tassie. All the players are excited to be here, it’s the week before a Grand Slam so there’s something special in the air.”

Top seed Zhang Shuai closes the day session against big-hitting Belarusian teen Aryna Sabalenka.

> View full schedule

Last year’s finalist Monica Niculescu headlines the tournament’s first night session, playing against American Varvara Lepchenko.

Doubles fourth seeds Lyudmyla Kichenok and Makoto Ninomiya follow, facing Nao Hibino and Darija Jurak in quarterfinal action.

It’s not too late to book tickets – and don’t forget this year kids can enter for free with a paying adult.

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