Sabalenka continues giant-killing run

10 January 2018, by Hobart International Tennis

Aryna Sabalenka has continued her giant-killing run at the Hobart International, knocking out top seed Zhang Shuai in the second round.

The 19-year-old Belarusian overpowered her more experienced opponent, winning 7-6(3) 6-4 in a 95-minute battle.

“It was a really good fight,” Sabalenka said.

Contesting her first Hobart International, the No.69-ranked Sabalenka had eliminated former world No.5 Eugenie Bouchard in the opening round earlier this week.

“It’s always special when you beat good players,” Sabalenka said.

“It gives me more confidence inside me and you really want to play. Like you finish your match and you start to think ‘when do I play my next one? I want to go on the court and beat someone’.”

Sabalenka is next on court tomorrow, taking on fifth seed Lesia Tsurenko in the quarterfinals.

> See women’s singles draw

American Alison Riske is also in the quarterfinals, advancing when Belgian opponent Kirsten Flipkens was forced to withdraw from the tournament due to a right shoulder injury.

“I’m really sorry that I won’t be able to play my match today against Alison Riske in front of the amazing fans in Hobart,” Flipkens said.

“My shoulder has been causing me some problems and I have been advised to rest. Hobart is one of my favourite tournaments on the tour and I can’t wait to come back next year.”

Flipkens also withdrew from doubles, meaning Australian duo Alison Bai and Lizette Cabrera move into the semifinals.

> See women’s doubles draw