Hobart International 2018: The final serve

14 January 2018, by hobartinternational.com.au

The Hobart International celebrated its 25th edition in 2018. It was a history-making tournament in more ways than one, with Elise Mertens (BEL) defending her title to become the first two-time singles champion.

Below are some key facts and figures that shine light on all areas of the Hobart International 2018.

  • The tournament announced a new trophy, the Angie Cunningham Trophy, in honour of respected Tasmanian tennis identity Angie Cunningham, who lost her battle to Motor Neurone Disease in 2016.
  • Elise Mertens (BEL) became the first player to hold the new trophy after taking out the singles final against Mihaela Buzarnescu (ROU).
  • On the way to clinching her second Hobart International title in as many years, Elise Mertens dropped only 28 games.
  • Mertens (BEL) also claimed the doubles title with partner Demi Schuurs (NED), overcoming Lyudmyla Kichenok (UKR)/Makoto Ninomiya (JPN) in the final 6-2 6-2. This is only second time in tournament history a player has won the singles and doubles title in the one year (matching Zheng Jie’s effort in 2005).
  • The singles final was historic in the fact that it included four separate rain delays, a first for both competing players, and taking over eight hours to complete.
  • Matches at the Hobart International were broadcast in 28 countries through the WTA host broadcast.
  • Players spent over 250 hours on the practice courts with Practice 1 court being the most used for training.
  • The people of Hobart turned up in their droves, with more than 10,000 fans attending over the seven days of competition. Attendances at nine of the tournament’s 10 sessions exceeded last year.
  • Over 140 hardworking volunteers ensured the 25th edition of the tournament ran smoothly, with six of those volunteers also celebrating their 25th year of involvement.
  • On-site stringer, Stringlab, restrung over 240 racquets during the course of the tournament, with approximately 2880 metres of string used. That’s enough string to go around a tennis court 41 times!
  • Over 1500 bottles of Coopers beers were served to guests.
  • We can’t forget one of the most important elements of the tournament, the balls! Over 2,000 Wilson AO tennis balls were used during qualifing and main draw matches.
  • Off the court, tournament vehicles travelled 11,256 kms in total with many players and coaches taking a break from the tennis to visit popular tourist locations, Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary and Mount Wellington.
  • More than 115 room nights were booked at the tournaments official hotel, The Old Woolstore Apartment Hotel.
  • More than 20 players visited Skindulgence to ensure they felt and looked their best while on court in Hobart.
  • More than 600 participants enjoyed Kids Tennis Day, with players Alize Cornet (FRA), Natalia Vikhlyantseva (RUS) and Raluca Olaru (ROU) helping make the day an experience to remember for the next generation of Tasmanian tennis stars.
  • Three players celebrated their birthdays during the tournament: Yulia Putintseva (KAZ), Michaella Krajicek (NED) and Kirsten Flipkens (BEL). Each were presented with special gifts from the tournament.
  • The tournament’s Twitter followers increased by 13%. The most popular tweet of the tournament was when Genie Bouchard met Hobart Hurricanes captain George Bailey, which had almost 54,000 impressions and 6,000 engagements.
  • Engagement on the tournament’s Facebook page increased by 400% and followers grew by 15%. The most popular post was Elise Mertens and Sorana Cirstea’s visit to Coal River Farm to make chocolate.
  • The tournament recently joined Instagram and followers increased by over 60% during the event. Bouchard meeting the Hobart Hurricanes was the most popular post.