Bendigo VIC, Australia, 26 October 2018 | Asher Packman

Queenslander Priscilla Hon made her way into the final four at the Bendigo Tennis International on Friday after edging past Destanee Aiava in three tightly contested sets.

“It’s always tough here playing with the windy conditions,” Hon said. “But I’m pretty happy with where I’m at right now and I couldn’t ask for more.”

The fourth seed started the strongest, quickly stamping her authority on the match to lead by a set and a break. However, in a show of maturity, Aiava (No.6) recovered to send the second set to a tiebreaker which she eventually managed to secure. However, Hon was able to right the ship, moving ahead 6-2 6-7(6) 6-3.

“I was injured a little, so I only started serving a couple of days before the tournament,” Hon added. “I was a bit rusty earlier in the week but I’m feeling a lot better now after a few matches.”

The 20-year-old currently sits at world No.185 and has enjoyed what she refers to as a ‘solid’ year, playing predominantly at WTA Tour level.

“I’m trying to reach my goal (of world No.120),” she said. “I haven’t got there yet but we’ll see how the rest of the year goes.

“I felt like my experience playing a full year on the WTA Tour really helped me a lot. Playing (Elina) Svitolina (second round at WTA Hong Kong) I saw where the level was at. I’ve definitely brought a lot of what I’ve learned playing against the best players here.”

Hon will have to put friendships aside when she meets Lizette Cabrera in the semifinal on Saturday, after the eighth seed and fellow Queenslander defeated Abigail Tere-Apisah of Papua New Guinea 6-4 6-4.

“We’ve got the same coach so that will be interesting. We played earlier in the year and she got me,” Hon said.

The remaining semifinal will fought out between seventh seed Ellen Perez and Brit Gabriella Taylor (No.3) after Perez kept alive her chances for four consecutive Australian Pro Tour finals, ending the hopes of second seed and last year’s Bendigo runner-up Olivia Rogowska, 6-4 3-6 6-4.

Taylor brushed aside qualifier Astra Sharma 6-4 7-5.

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