Mertens continues Hobart winning streak

9 January 2018, by Leigh Rogers

Elise Mertens is one step closer to defending her Hobart International title.

The second seed moved in the quarterfinals with a 6-4 6-4 win over Brazilian Beatriz Haddad Maia today.

“She’s a tough player with good strokes, especially on the forehand she likes to dictate, so I tried to play my game and make her make some mistakes,” Mertens said.

“I’m pretty pleased with my game.”

Mertens is yet to lose a set at the tournament, extending her winning streak to 10 consecutive matches. This week she is aiming to become the first player to win the Hobart International singles title twice in the tournament’s 25-year history.

“Maybe there is some pressure being seeded and defending the title, but for now I’m just feeling free,” Mertens said. “I know can play a good level. I feel confident here.”

The Belgian player faces either American Varvara Lepchenko or Romanian Monica Niculescu in the quarterfinals. A clash with Niculescu would be a rematch of last year’s singles final.

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Meanwhile Romanian Mihaela Buzarnescu continued her perfect Hobart debut, beating German Anna-Lena Friedsam 7-5 6-4 to move into the quarterfinals.

Croatian Donna Vekic is also into the quarterfinals in her first visit to Hobart. The world No.55 powered past Czech teen Marketa Vondrousova 6-4 6-4 in the second round.