The 2018 Hobart International is one of a few events on the calendar that will be played before the first major of the season. This is one of the last warm-up competitions before the upcoming Australian Open. Sometimes the warm-ups are stocked with top-notch competition and other times, the players skip out in order to rest. The latter seems to be true for this event as the best player will be the No. 35 seed. It should still make for an entertaining week of action and sharp bettors should be able to make some money.
The competition in the 32-player main draw began on Sunday, January 7.
Event: Hobart International
Category: WTA International tier
Date: January 7 – 13, 2018
Location: Hobart International Tennis Centre; Hobart, Australia
The 2018 Hobart Invitational will mark the quarter-century mark, the silver anniversary of the tournament, with its first appearance as a main tour event being 1994.
With a prize money allotment of over $226,000, this is a standard purse for an international tier tournament, but this event really isn’t all that much about the money. It’s about the ability to get in match play ahead of the Australian Open and find out how well the competition is playing. Getting a measurement of other players and one’s own game are the two basic goals for players at this tournament.
Champion – 280
Runner-up – 180
Semifinalist – 110
Quarterfinalist – 60
Round of 16 – 30 points
Former Champions and Results (5 Years)
Year Champion Runner-up Score
2017 – Elise Mertens def. Monica Niculescu – 6-3, 6-1
2016 – Alize Cornet def. Eugenie Bouchard — 6-1, 6-2
2015 – Heather Watson def. Madison Brengle – 6-3, 6-4
2014 – Garbine Muguruza def. Klara Zakopalova – 6-4, 6-0
2013 – Elena Vesnina def. Mona Barthel – 6-3, 6-4
What is noticeable about the eight seeds in this tournament is how tightly bunched they are. The No. 1 seed, Zhang Shuai, is No. 35. The eighth seed, Katerina Siniakova, is No. 47. This tournament can reasonably be viewed as up for grabs.
The second seed, Elise Mertens, is the defending champion. The young Belgian will try to take new steps forward in her career this season, making more of a dent at the Grand Slams. She had a relatively positive campaign in the 2017 season. She was 29-21 last year on the main tour draw. She didn’t do so well on grass, going 1-4, but she did just fine on clay (11-6) and hard courts (12-8).
The third seed, Sorana Cirstea, has long been viewed as a player with the talent to become a contender, but she has not been able to take that leap. Last fall, she upset Karolina Pliskova in China and showed signs of improving. Now she gets a chance to show that after her offseason, she is ready to evolve. So far this season, she is 1-1. Last year, she was much more productive. She finished the year 27-21, posting winning records on all three surfaces. She was 3-2 on grass and 9-5 on clay, but she did manage to earn 13 wins (13-9) on the hard courts.
The fourth seed is Alize Cornet, a defense-first player who knows how to cover the court and force opponents into making mistakes, but who is very inconsistent as an offensive player and can lose to players she has no business losing to. Yet, she can also beat top players on days when she is at her best. She used to be ranked higher but she’s struggled over the last couple of seasons. She was 25-23 on the main tour draw last year and was 21-21 in her matches in the 2016 season. The hard courts are her best surface, though.
Hobart International Tennis Centre
The Hobart International Tennis Centre first opened in December of 1964, and has undergone a series of transformations in the past 51 years. What was originally created as a 21-court complex has been subjected to a string of surface changes, today’s surface now moving to plexicushion, though there are courts with non-hardcourt surfaces available for locals to play on. The main stadium court has a seating capacity of 2,500, which is a small number created in part by the presence of a lot of box seats and a number of VIP suites.
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