2019 AO Play-off: Sharma topples Rodionova. Hives and Perez march on


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2019 AO Play-off: Sharma topples Rodionova. Hives and Perez march on

The quarter-final matches of the 2019 Australian Open Play-off at Melbourne Park had to be canceled on Thursday and the players completed the round on indoor courts, with Astra Sharma, Zoe Hives, Kimberly Birrell and Ellen Perez reaching the last four and staying in the hunt for the title and the Australian Open wild card. The 22-year-old Zoe Hives had a great day at the office, defeating Kaylah Mcphee 6-2 6-0 to advance into the last four safely.

Hives drew first blood in the fourth game of the match and she scored another break to move 5-1 up. Mcphee managed to reduce the deficit with a break in the following game but she double faulted in the following game to drop the opener 6-2.

Hives broke again in the second game of the second set and she never looked back, winning every game in the rest of the match and securing the place in the semis in no time at all. Her next rival will be Astra Sharma who destroyed the top seed Arina Rodionova 6-1 6-1! Astra had the advantage from start to finish, dominating in the most important points and taking the opening set with a forehand winner in game seven.

It was all about Sharma in the second set as well and she moved 4-1 up after a double fault from Arina who never found her rhythm in this match. At 5-1 down, the top seed served to stay in the match but she got broken again, with Sharma sealing the deal following a backhand cross court winner to stay on the title course.

The 8th seed Kimberly Birrell prevailed against the 3rd seed Jaimee Fourlis 6-4 7-6, overcoming a 3-1 deficit in the opener and battling her way towards the last four. Serving to stay in the opener, Fourlis played a terrible backhand at the net to lose serve and hand the set to her rival, having to work much harder in the rest of the match if she wanted to turn the scoreboard around.

She grabbed a break in the fifth game of the second set but Birrell pulled it back immediately, with both players serving well in the remaining games to set up a tie break. There, Kimberly had the advantage and she won it 7-4 to complete the win and avoid the deciding set.

In by far the longest match of the day, the 2nd seed Ellen Perez overpowered Abbie Myers 6-4 6-7 6-3 to complete the semi-final lineup, facing Kimberly Birrell for the place in the title match. Quarter-final results:

[5]Astra Sharma vs [1]Arina Rodionova 6-1 6-1
[4]Zoe Hives vs Kaylah Mcphee 6-2 6-0
[8]Kimberly Birrell vs [3]Jaimee Fourlis 6-4 7-6(4)
[2]Ellen Perez vs Abbie Myers 6-4 6-7(1) 6-3