Local favourite Bai set to star in Canberra
Canberra's own Alison Bai is one of 11 Aussie women vying for the title at the 2015 Canberra Tennis International.
Local Alison Bai joins a group of 11 Australian women, including 15-year-old qualifier Destanee Aiava, in contention for the 2015 Canberra Tennis International title.
“It’s great to have a home tournament,” Bai said.
“I’m definitely excited to get going. I’ve been telling all my friends and family to come down and watch.
“Nick (Kyrgios) has got the guys covered (in Canberra), so it’s time we pumped the girls up, that’s for sure,” she joked.
The 25-year-old Canberran finds herself with a tough match-up in the opening round when she faces the second seed from Japan, Eri Hozumi.
The winner to play either teenage wildcard Maddison Inglis or Brit Katy Dunne.
“Obviously, it’s not the greatest draw for me,” Bai said. “But (Hozumi) has to get off the plane and adjust to conditions whereas I train here, I‘m from here and I know how the courts play.”
Aiava earlier booked herself a well-deserved place in the main draw after defeating Yuki Kristina Chiang in the final round of qualifying, thus denying USA a clean sweep of all qualifying spots.
The other three qualifiers were Americans Jessica Wacnik – who faces top seeded compatriot Alexa Glatch in the first round – Veronica M. Corning and Jennifer Elie.
Glatch, the world No.138, finds herself amid a slew of Aussies in the early rounds, with Storm Sanders potentially waiting in the second round, and Jessica Moore, Kimberly Birrell and wildcard Tammi Patterson all in the same section.
The match between Moore – the top-ranked Australian in the event – and the up-and-coming Birrell looks set to be one of the most anticipated first round clashes, while Patterson will bring some confidence into her match with eighth seed So-Ra Lee of Korea after her good form of late.
Sanders faces unseeded Ayaka Okuno and will be looking to turn the tables after losing to the Japanese 20-year-old at the Australian Open junior event back in 2011.
Meanwhile, in-form Queensland teen Priscilla Hon takes on Frenchwoman Manon Arcangioli, with the winner to likely confront fifth seed Yuxuan Zhang of China.
Interest also lies with wildcard Olivia Tjandramulia, another of the talented Queensland youngsters. She takes on American Lauren Embree on her way to a potential run in with fourth seed Misa Eguchi later in the week.
Other Australians in first-round action include Abbie Myers, who faces third seed Cindy Burger of The Netherlands and Arina Rodionova, who plays Swedish sixth seed, Susanne Celik.