Who will make the Hobart International 2018 finals this year? Today we find out.
It is semifinal day at the Domain Tennis Centre and we are serving up two tantalizing singles showdowns.
(2) Elise Mertens v (Q) Heather Watson
Centre Court, not before 2pm
Head-to-head: Mertens leads 1-0
Two former champions face-off in the first semifinal when 2015 winner Heather Watson meets last year’s winner Elise Mertens. Both players are aiming to make history this week as the first player to win a second Hobart International title. What can we expect when they play? It will be a battle according to Watson. “I think we’re not too dissimilar in our game styles. We’re both pretty solid and try to be aggressive, make a lot of balls. I think there will be a lot of rallies,” she said. Watson is on a five-match winning streak, having qualified for this year’s draw, and is growing in confidence. The No.2-seeded Mertens’ confidence is just as high, boosted by her unbeaten record at the tournament. “She obviously loves it here also,” Watson said. “She’s been playing really well, last year she just shot up the rankings. It’ll be a tough match.”
(5) Lesia Tsurenko v Mihaela Buzarnescu
Centre Court, not before 7pm
Head-to-head: First career meeting
Fifth seed Lesia Tsurenko is into the Hobart International semifinals for a second consecutive year. The 28-year-old has been in impressive form this week and admitted she was feeling confident after dismantling Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka in yesterday’s quarterfinals. Her next opponent, Romanian Mihaela Buzarnescu, is the oldest semifinalist but the least experienced. The 29-year-old is into the second WTA semifinal of her career and enjoying being in career-best form. “I’ve never played her, but I know she’s a good player,” Buzarnescu said. “I just want to enjoy and play my best tennis.”
First on Centre Court is a doubles semifinal featuring Australian duo Alison Bai and Lizette Cabrera, beginning at noon. The wildcard pairing face fourth seeds Lyudmyla Kichenok of Ukraine and Makoto Ninomiya of Japan.
The second doubles semifinal, to be played not before 5pm, sees Mertens return to Centre Court alongside Dutch partner Demi Schuurs. They play Russian Veronika Kudermetova and Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka.
It’s not too late to book tickets – and don’t forget this year kids can enter for free with a paying adult.