Buzarnescu, Bencic set for first round showdown

4 January 2019, by hobartinternational.com.au

Second seed Mihaela Buzarnescu has been dealt a tough first round assignment, drawing Switzerland’s Belinda Bencic in the opening round.

The No.24-ranked Buzarnescu, a finalist at last year’s tournament, has played former world No.7 Bencic twice previously. They have split results, with Buzarnescu winning their most recent meeting in three sets in 2017.

READ: Buzarnescu happy in Hobart return

Bencic, who will partner Roger Federer in the Mastercard Hopman Cup final this weekend, is making her tournament debut.

France’s world No.19 Caroline Garcia, a wildcard entry, is the tournament’s top seed. She begins her campaign against American Sofia Kenin. Her section of the draw also includes Timea Babos, who rose to world No.1 in doubles in 2018, and former Wimbledon semifinalist Kirsten Flipkens.

Fourth seed Maria Sakkari faces a qualifier in her opening match, while 2016 champion Alize Cornet also begins against a qualifier.

China’s Zhang Shuai, who helped conduct the draw at Hobart’s Government House, also faces a qualifier in the first round.

> View the full draw

Qualifying matches begin tomorrow, part of a Free Family Weekend at the Domain Tennis Centre. Fans of all ages can attend for free.

> Tomorrow’s order of play