Fourlis upbeat in Burnie
Jaimee Fourlis starts her campaign at the $60,000 ITF Pro Circuit event in Burnie on Tuesday.
With play continuing at the Caterpillar Burnie international on Tuesday, Victorian Jaimee Fourlis will open her campaign against experienced Thai Varatchaya Wongteanchai.
Despite a loss to Olivia Rogowksa in the opening round at the Australian Open, the 18-year-old arrives in Tasmania after a bright start to 2018 with the 18/u Australian Championships title and a first-round win at the WTA Hobart International under her belt.
“I’ve had a couple of days to train with my coach,” she said. “This week is no different from any other. There’s lots of high quality girls here and I need to be on my game all the time.”
Having completed her Year 12 studies and with no WTA age-restrictions on the number of tournaments she can now play, Fourlis is upbeat about the year ahead.
“It’s a great feeling,” she said. “I’m free to travel and play as much as I want and I don’t have too many points to defend.”
Fourlis plans to compete in all the remaining Australian Pro Tour events before looking at the ITF Pro Circuit – with as many WTA qualifying events as possible thrown in to the mix.
“I will play it by ear, but that’s the plan,” she said.
Turning her attention to the first round, Fourlis is aware that Wongteanchai is a difficult opening prospect.
“She’s a tough opponent for sure,” she said. “I’ve got to be ready.”
Should she be successful, Fourlis will potentially meet Destanee Aiava, in a repeat of the 18/u Australian Championship final.
Wildcard Zoe Hives, on the back of her first Pro Tour title in Playford earlier this month, will take on experienced veteran, Patty Schnyder. The Austrian third seed, now 39, is a former world No.7.
Her compatriot, Viktorija Golubic, comes into Burnie as the top seed. She faces Japanese qualifier Chihiro Muramatsu in the first round and looks headed toward a quarterfinal clash with another seasoned campaigner, Romanian Alexander Dulgheru – the No.6 seed already a winner over Sara Tomic on Monday.
Fourth seed Olivia Rogowska opposes Croat Tereza Mrdeza, with the winner to play either Ellen Perez or wildcard Olivia Tjandramulia who face-off in an All-Australian affair.
Elsewhere, second seed Barbora Krejcikova meets Chinese qualifier Xiyu Wang in a section that includes Ukranian Marta Kostyuk, the 15-year-old a standout story at the Australian open, where she qualified before reaching the third round, the first player born in 2002 to ever play in a Grand Slam main draw.