Hives eases through in Darwin
Zoe Hives is enjoying being back on home soil, booking a spot in the quarterfinals at the Darwin International.
Top seed Zoe Hives stamped her arrival back in Australia with a dominant win in her second-round match at the Darwin International on Thursday.
After taking out fellow Victorian Jaimee Fourlis in three sets the previous day, Hives needed just over an hour to dismiss Japanese qualifier Nagi Hanatani 6-0 6-2.
“I’m really enjoying being back,” Hives said. “It was pretty windy out there but I got through the conditions well and I’m happy with how I’m playing.”
The 22-year-old is enjoying her best year on the WTA Tour, currently sitting at a career-high world No.149 after some solid results which included her first win at a major – making the second round at The Australian Open on debut in January.
“It’s a different position for sure, but it’s been a long year actually,” she said. “My first time playing a full year, travelling and everything, so it’s been really good but I’m definitely still getting used to it.
“I guess I know what I can do now. If I play well I can get some good results, but I’m not putting too much pressure on myself, just trying to enjoy it and see how I go. Just being back home gives me more energy, knowing what everything’s like and having played these tournaments before.”
Hives will face Abbie Myers for a semifinal berth on Friday, after the Sydneysider ousted No.7 seed Ayano Shimuzu of Japan in straight sets.
Third seed Maddison Inglis finds herself across the net from American Asia Muhammad, who had her measure in a Cairns semifinal last week and went on to win the title.
The remaining quarterfinals see Cairns finalist Zuzana Zlochova of Slovakia play second seed Lizette Cabrera while Olivia Rogowska faces teenage wildcard Ivana Popovic.
In the men’s event, Queensland qualifier Will Maher continues his stellar run. After defeating top seed Marcelo Tomas Barrios Vera of Chile, he booked his quarterfinal place on Thursday with a win over fellow qualifier Jesse Flores of Costa Rica, who was eventually forced to retire with injury.
Maher will look to progress further when he takes on unseeded Canadian Martin Beran.
Elsewhere, Cairns winner Blake Mott continues to impress, and now faces No.6 seed Dayne Kelly to reach the final four.
Brit Brydan Klein (3) plays Yu Hsiou Hsu (5) of Taiwan while Ukraine’s Vladlyslav Orlov will take on Calum Puttergill; the Queenland resident having also enjoyed a solid week.
Live scores of all Australian Pro Tour events are available through www.tennis.com.au/protour/scores and for a live stream of selected events visit www.tennis.com.au/protour. For updates, follow @oztennisresults on Twitter.