WTA Hobart: Yastremska, Lapko, Begu and Jabeur reach round two

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WTA Hobart: Yastremska, Lapko, Begu and Jabeur reach round two

An 18-year-old Dayana Yastremska had a great 2018 season, winning the maiden WTA crown and finishing the year as the youngest player in the top-60. Super talented Ukrainian has kicked off 2019 campaign with a qualifying loss in Brisbane but she scored the first win of the season in Hobart with a 6-3, 6-1 triumph against a qualifier Laura Siegemund in an hour and 14 minutes.

The youngster fends off three out of four break points, overcoming a slow start to dominate in the rest of the encounter and seal the deal in no time at all. Siegemund opened the match with a break but that was pretty much all we saw from her, losing five games in a row and allowing Yastremska to claim the opener with a hold at love in game nine.

The Ukrainian was the only player on the court in set number two, sailing through her service games and scoring three breaks to secure the place in the second round after a break at love at 5-1. Irina-Camelia Begu took down a qualifier and a former champion Heather Watson 6-1, 6-4 in an hour and 27 minutes in their first match in almost six years.

The Romanian played well on both serve and return, dropping serve once and securing four breaks against the rival who served at only 51% and who failed th defend the second serve in a proper way. Irina-Camelia earned three straight breaks in the opening set for the best possible start and she grabbed another one at 4-4 in the second set to move over the top following a good hold in the next game.

The 20-year-old Vera Lapko also made a great start, ousting the 5th seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 in two hours and one minute, winning five points more than the Russian and prevailing in the crucial moments to reach the last 16.

The Belarusian served at just above 50% but she did well to save six out of seven break points and dig deep on the return, creating nine chances and converting two to cross the finish line before the better-ranked player.

Lapko won the opening set with a break in game eight and Pavlyuchenkova responded with a better start in set number two, securing a break at love in the fourth game and saving a break point while serving for the set at 5-3 to send the match into a decider.

There, Vera prevailed with a single break at 4-3, creating the crucial advantage and completing the win with a hold at love a few minutes later for the perfect start of the campaign. A qualifier Greet Minnen, ranked just inside the top-350, stunned Kateryna Kozlova 6-4, 6-0 in an hour and 24 minutes, losing serve once and claiming the last seven games of the match to march into the last 16 and score one of her career-best wins. First round results:

Ons Jabeur (TUN) vs Ana Bogdan (ROU) 7-6(8) 6-2
[Q]Greet Minnen (BEL) vs [LL]Kateryna Kozlova (UKR) 6-4 6-0
Pauline Parmentier (FRA) vs [WC]Ellen Perez (AUS) 6-2 5-7 7-5
Anna Karolina Schmiedlova (SVK) vs Evgeniya Rodina (RUS) 7-5 6-7(5) 6-3
Irina-Camelia Begu (ROU) vs [Q]Heather Watson (GBR) 6-1 6-4
Vera Lapko (BLR) vs [5]Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) 6-3 3-6 6-3
Dayana Yastremska (UKR) vs [Q]Laura Siegemund (GER) 6-3 6-1