Hobart International: Day 1 – Kuzmova wins thriller as Aussies bow out

VIKTORIA Kuzmova has survived an epic match to down China’s Lin Zhu in the opening round of the Hobart International yesterday. In a match that lasted almost three hours, the 21-year-old Slovakian came from a set down to advance through to the second round with a 5-7 6-2 7-6 victory. It was a powerful statement from the young gun, with a serve that was hit and miss at times, producing eight aces but three double faults. While Kuzmova was broken five times, she broke her opponent six times to eventually grind out the win. The victory set up a potential Round 2 clash with number one seed Belgian and defending champion, Elise Mertens who takes on American Christina McHale today.

Kuzmova was far from the only player to come from a set down to advance through to the next round with Brit, Heather Watson following suit. Watson was rolled in the opening set 6-1, before coming back against Switzerland’s Jil Teichmann, 1-6 6-4 6-4 to set up a date with Fiona Ferro who had the least time on court of anyone following a 4-4 win after seventh seed Swedish opponent, Rebecca Peterson had to retire following the eighth game. In an almost identical scoreline to the Watson-Teichmann clash, Czech Republic’s Kristyna Pliskova – whose twin sister Karolina celebrated a title at Brisbane over the weekend – came back from a set down to defeat 84th ranked Serbian, Nina Stojanovic 1-6 6-4 6-3.

In a couple of tight tiebreakers, sixth seed Magda Linette polished off experienced Grand Slam veteran Svetlana Kuznetsova 7-6 7-6 with the second tiebreaker going to 11-9 before Linette could celebrate. The Polish seed will now take on United State’s Lauren Davis who downed Australian, Astra Sharma 6-3 3-6 7-6 in a thrilling contest that lasted more than two and a half hours. The remaining two matches were not as engaging with local hope, Sam Stosur bowing out in straight sets 6-2 6-2 at the hands of fifth seed Russian, Veronika Kudermetova, while Kateryna Kozlova rolled Sara Sorribes Tormo 6-2 6-1 to advance through to the round of 16.

The major seeds are in action today with second seed and Grand Slam winner Garbine Muguruza taking on China’s Yafan Wang for a spot in the second round against up-and-coming Russian, Anna Blinkova or Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur. Likewise, third seed Elena Rybakina will hope to go one better than her runners-up status in Shenzhen when she takes on Tamara Zidansek today, with the winner to face either Belgian, Alison Van Uytvanck or Frenchwoman, Alize Cornet. The other two matches to take place are fourth seed, Shuai Zhang meeting Kirsten Flipkens and eighth seed, Caroline Garcia hoping to finally find some form after a disappointing couple of months, taking on local hope Lizette Cabrera.

Day 1 Results:

[5] V. Kudermetova (RUS) defeated S. Stosur (AUS) 6-2 6-2
[6] M. Linette (POL) defeated S. Kuznetsova (RUS) 7-6 7-6
F. Ferro (FRA) defeated [7] R. Peterson (SWE) 4-4 RET
K. Kozlova (UKR) defeated S. Sorribes Tormo (ESP) 6-2 6-1
L. Davis (USA) defeated A. Sharma (AUS) 6-3 3-6 7-6
H. Watson (UK) defeated J. Teichmann (SUI) 1-6 6-4 6-4
V. Kuzmova (SVK) defeated L. Zhu (CHN) 5-7 6-2 7-6
K. Pliskova (CZE) defeated N. Stojanovic (SRB) 1-6 6-4 6-3

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments