Sorana Cirstea through to the Hobart International main draw

The Romanian headlines six players who progressed through the qualifying matches
12 January 2020, by Hobart International Tennis

Top-seeded Sorana Cirstea is through to the main draw of the Hobart International after defeating compatriot Irina-Camilia Begu on the final round of qualifying.

The Romanian won the first set 6-2 before being put to the test by Begu in the second, eventually sealing the win in a tiebreak.

“I think I played really well,” a relieved Cirstea said.

“We’ve known each other since we were eight years old and it’s never easy to play someone from the same country.

“I pleased with how I stayed positive and kept fighting and finished the match in two sets.”

Heather Watson, the 2015 champion, also progressed to the main draw, defeating third-seed Nina Stojanovic in front of a vocal centre court crowd.

A relieved Watson praised her Serbian opponent’s efforts post-match.

“Nina has been in really good form and I knew she’d be aggressive,” the world No.102 said.

“I’ve played doubles with her before and we get on really well.”

A fan favourite in Hobart, Watson declared that her goal of making the Olympics later this year has helped with her form.

“In the last six months or so my tennis has really started to take off again and I’m feeling really optimistic about this year, with the big goal of mine being to make it to Tokyo in 2020.”

In other matches, second-seeded Ons Jabeur claimed a strong win over 2015 finalist Madison Brengle, while American Christina McHale outlasted Arantxa Rus in three sets.

Sara Sorribes-Tormo and Kateryna Kozlova rounded out the main draw qualifiers.

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Qualifying singles, final round

[1] S. Cirstea (ROU) d [11] I. Begu (ROU) 6-2 7-6(9)

[2] O. Jabeur (TUN) d [9] M. Brengle (USA) 7-6(5) 6-2

[12] H. Watson (GBR) d [3] N. Stojanovic (SRB) 6-4 6-3

[4] C. Mchale (USA) d [7] A. Rus (NED) 6-4 4-6 6-3

[5] K. Kozlova (UKR) d [10] C. Giorgi (ITA) 6-2 6-2

[6] S. Sorribes Tormo (ESP) d [8] K. Ahn (USA) 6-4 7-5