Barthel, Cirstea and Shvedova all advance in Hobart

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In searing heat and some of the highest temperatures ever recorded in Tasmania, play on the third day of the Moorilla Hobart International got under way on Monday. In the third match on centre court, the second seed Sorana Cirstea of Romania, took on the lucky loser from the qualifiers Nina Bratchikova of Russia. Cirstea, ranked at 27, really battled in the first set, eventually losing it 3-6, but came back strongly in the second and held on to break her opponent to go 6-5 up and eventually win the set 7-5. That seems to take the wind out of Bratchikova’s sails, as she capitulated in the decider and let Cirstea take it 6-2. In the second round, Cirstea will face the American qualifier, Lauren Davis.

4th seed Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan played against unseeded Lourdes Dominguez Lino of Spain in the fourth match on Court Events Tasmania. The first set between these two players was quite tight, with Shvedova winning it 6-4, but in the second set all her shots seems to come together and she took the set easily at 6-1. She will meet the Russian, Elena Vesnina, in the second round.

In the night match, also on centre court, which only got under way at 11:22pm, the wild carded Australian Ashley Barty, went up against the tournament’s 9th seed Mona Barthel of Germany, the defending champion. Barty ran away with the first set 6-2, but Barthel’s superior serve, hard hit groundies and greater experience upended the young Aussie when she took the second set to love, forcing a decider, which she also won easily, 6-1, to keep her dream of retaining her title alive. She will meet the South African, Chanelle Scheepers, in the next round.

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