[close]

Rookie Hives takes confidence to Aust Open

Australian wildcard Zoe Hives has lost to Belinda Bencic at the Hobart International but received some words of encouragement ahead of the Australian Open.

Rookie Hives takes confidence to Aust Open

Australian wildcard Zoe Hives has lost to Belinda Bencic at the Hobart International but received some words of encouragement ahead of the Australian Open.

ZOE HIVES of Australia plays a shot during the Hobart International at Domain Tennis Centre in Hobart, Australia.
ZOE HIVES of Australia plays a shot during the Hobart International at Domain Tennis Centre in Hobart, Australia. Picture:Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

Victorian Zoe Hines will prepare for her grand slam debut at the Australian Open knowing she has high praise from a former top-ten player.

The day after her maiden WTA at the Hobart International, Hines was on Wednesday outclassed in the second round by Switzerland's Belinda Bencic 6-2 6-4.


But Bencic, who reached a career-high world No.7 in 2016, likes the 22-year-old Australian wildcard's game.

"She hits the ball really clean and her forehand and backhand are both good. I think she has a very bright future," Bencic said.

"She showed she has a lot of talent."

The 211-ranked Hines, who upset veteran Swede and world No. 75 Johanna Larsson in the first round, struck some clean winners towards the end of the match.

"I've definitely got some confidence out of this week and it just reinforces the things I have to work on," Hives said ahead of her wildcard entry at Melbourne Park.

Bencic, who recently won the Hopman Cup with compatriot Roger Federer, will play 18-year-old Ukrainian Dayana Yastremska for a place in the semi-final.

World No.55 Bencic is a big chance of winning her third career title in Hobart, with the tournament's top four seeds tumbling out in round one.

Bencic took one of those scalps herself, beating last year's finalist and second seed Mihaela Buzarnescu in three sets.

In other second-round matches, American Sofia Kenin followed up a first-round win over top seed Caroline Garcia by defeating Ons Jabeur 7-6 (6) 6-3.

Seventh seed Kirsten Flipkens fought back to beat Slovakia's Viktoria Kuzmova 6-7 (7-3) 6-4 6-1 to make the final eight, while eighth seed Alison Van Uytvanck fell to Slovakian Anna Karolina Schmiedlova in straight sets.

AAP


AAP




Latest Stories