After bringing you all the latest stuff from Brisbane, Women’s Tennis Blog is live at the 2015 Hobart International, one of the most exotic tournaments in the WTA calendar.
Home on the Australian island of Tasmania, the Hobart International is hosted by Domain Tennis Centre, a beautiful venue that overlooks the city of Hobart and its wonderful bay. Having a mild oceanic climate, Hobart does not challenge players with extreme weather conditions, as the area does not have the high humidity of Brisbane or the heat usually found in Melbourne this time of the year.
Held for the 22nd time, the Hobart International has had 21 different winners, no player managed to win this tournament twice. This statistic won’t change in 2015, since last year’s winner Garbine Muguruza of Spain has opted not to return to Tasmania.
Nevertheless, the draw is packed with talented players, including #1 seed Casey Dellacqua, 2012 Hobart International champion Mona Barthel, Sloane Stephens as well as Daniela Hantuchova who used a last-minute wildcard to enter the event.
Three Australians hit center court to play in front of their home crowd on Monday and enjoyed mixed success. While Croatia-born Aussie Ajla Tomljanovic lost her match to Karin Knapp in straight sets, Olivia Rogowska fell prey to another Italian as Roberta Vinci came out on top in their three-setter.
Top seed Casey Dellaqua met the expectations the crowd has set in her, albeit not without trouble. Dellaqua had to concede the second set to Lauren Davis, the plucky American kept troubling the experienced Australian until having to take a medical time out late in the third set to get treatment for what looked like a lower back injury. Once play resumed, Dellacqua took control of the remaining games, punching her ticket for the tournament’s second round, joining #2 seed Zarina Diyas, who won her match against Spain’s Silvia Soler-Espinosa in straight sets.
Once the top seeds had pulled through, it was time for the night session and ticket holders were in for a surprise as no other than Estonia’s Kaia Kanepi helped out at the front gate, scanning tickets of lucky visitors who surely did not expect to be greeted by a top tennis player.
The night session matches were a successful affair for the big-name players, as Daniela Hantuchova bested Richel Hogenkamp after two hours of exciting tennis. The dramatic three-setter between Mona Barthel and Madison Brengle took even longer as it was 30 minutes after midnight when the American decided the third-set tie break in her favor, kicking the former champ out of the tournament.
Unfortunately, a common theme of the day were retirements. No less than three matches had to be aborted due to injures, as Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, Saisai Zhang & Christina McHale were unable to complete their matches, handing their opponents Bojana Jovanovski, Johanna Larsson & Alison Riske easy wins.
Women’s Tennis Blog will bring you complete coverage from Hobart all week, capturing all the sites the WTA’s most picturesque tournament has to offer!