Heather Watson has earnt a place in the Hobart International main draw – and she’s very happy about it.
“I just love being here,” the 2015 champion said. “I love the start of the year, I love being in Australia. It’s one of my favourite trips of the year.
“When I come to Hobart I’m always feeling really positive and excited about the tournament. When I’m happy, I play better. I’m very happy here and I think it shows in my results.”
Watson proved too strong for Australian Isabelle Wallace in the final qualifying round today, posting a 6-4 6-4 win.
The 26-year-old Brit made a semifinal run as a qualifier at last year’s tournament – but is trying not to worry about defending those ranking points.
“I feel like it doesn’t really help, it just puts too much pressure on you,” Watson said.
“I do have it in the back of my mind, it is hard to ignore it – but I’m trying to focus on starting fresh and everything that I get now is a bonus.”
German Laura Siegemund is adopting a similar mindset. The 30-year-old is trying to re-discover her best after a knee injury sidelined her when in career-best form in 2017.
“I want to enjoy the game again,” Siegemund said of her 2019 goals. “There were times when I didn’t know if I could play again at this kind of level, so I’m really trying to enjoy it.”
The former world No.27 has made positive steps this week, qualifying for the main draw with a see-sawing 6-4 6-7(5) 6-1 win over 2015 finalist Madison Brengle.
Siegemund had served for victory at 6-5 in the second set, having recovered from a 2-5 deficit.
“It’s really tough with the wind,” Siegemund said of the multiple momentum changes in the match. “You just have to stay calm.”
Other winners today include Poland’s Magda Linette and Belgium’s Greet Minnen.
What an effort from @MagdaLinette! The world No.81 qualifies for the main draw with a 7-6(7) 6-7(5) 6-4 win over Kateryna Kozlova in an absorbing three hour, 24 minute battle #HobartTennis pic.twitter.com/DhjV7h0cKy
— Hobart International (@HobartTennis) January 6, 2019
Australian Alison Bai continued her dream run, overcoming compatriot Olivia Rogowska 6-4 6-7(5) 6-1 to qualify for her first WTA International-level event. The 28-year-old hit 24 aces in the victory, dropping only one point on her service games in the deciding set.