Mornington VIC, Australia, 31 March 2017 | David Packman

Wildcard Zoe Hives has reached the quarterfinals of the Mornington Peninsula Tennis International #2 after a well-fought victory over Israeli fourth seed Julia Glushko on Thursday.

After sitting out last season with injury, the 20-year-old from Ballarat is excited to be back playing how she knows she can.

“I was enjoying it again today,” Hives said. “I was in a much better headspace, fighting for every point and playing how I used to.

“It’s been a little bit of a struggle so just to feel like I’m back is really nice.”

After splitting the first two sets, Hives controlled the decider to take the match 7-5 5-7 6-2 and a book a place in the semifinal against in-form Brit Gabriella Taylor.

“Overall my game was a lot better today,” Hives continued. “I finally made a few serves and the whole thing was just a lot better. I was back to feeling how I used to feel on court.”

Joining Hives in the last eight is third seed Destanee Aiava, who is looking for consecutive titles in Mornington after her success last week. The Victorian teen was impressive in dispatching Japanese qualifier Nagi Hanatani and will now face French No.6 seed Sherazad Reix.

Lizette Cabrera, the No.2 seed, had a tougher time in overcoming Aussie compatriot Abbie Myers, but she eventually prevailed 6-2 4-3 6-3. She moves ahead to play experienced West Australian Jessica Moore who advanced after Queenslander Olivia Tjandramulia was forced to retire.

The remaining quarterfinal sees top-seeded Dutchwoman Arantxa Rus face Czech teen and last week’s finalist, Barbora Krejcikova. The pair took out local qualifiers Masa Jovanovic and Sally Peers in their respective second round encounters.

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