Heather Watson takes on Elise Mertens in a clash of former champions at the Hobart International.
WTA Staff
January 11, 2018

Play starts at noon


[4] Lyudmyla KICHENOK (UKR) / Makoto NINOMIYA (JPN) vs [WC] Alison BAI (AUS) / Lizette CABRERA (AUS) 

Not Before 2pm
[Q] Heather WATSON (GBR) vs [2] Elise MERTENS (BEL) 

Not Before 5pm

Not Before 7pm
[5] Lesia TSURENKO (UKR) vs Mihaela BUZARNESCU (ROU)


The semifinal between No.2 seed Elise Mertens and Heather Watson is a clash between the 2015 and 2017 Hobart champions. The tournament has never had a repeat champion since its inception in 1994, though there have been six two-time finalists: Mana Endo (winner in 1994, runner-up in 1996); Dominique Van Roost (winner in 1997, runner-up in 1998); Chanda Rubin (winner in 1999, runner-up in 2000); Rita Grande (runner-up in 1999, winner in 2001); Amy Frazier (runner-up in 2003, winner in 2004); and Mona Barthel (winner in 2012, runner-up in 2013).

Mertens and Watson have only played each other once, in the Luxembourg quarterfinals last year. The Belgian took that match in straight sets, 6-4, 6-4.

Mihaela Buzarnescu had the third-largest ranking jump in 2017 of all the players who ended the year in the Top 100, rocketing from No.377 to No.72. Over the off-season, another two high-level ITF titles raised her ranking even further to a career high of No.55, and she will break the Top 50 thanks to her Hobart run.

Since the start of her meteoric rise last June, Buzarnescu's win-loss record is 61-12. Following her WTA-level debut at the US Open, she has gone 32-6.

Lesia Tsurenko is seeking to keep a streak of one WTA title per year alive. The Ukrainian has lifted one trophy in each of the past three years - Istanbul in 2015, Guangzhou in 2016 and Acapulco in 2017 - and has never lost a final.