Elise Mertens seeks third Hobart crown in January


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Elise Mertens seeks third Hobart crown in January

Hobart International is one of four WTA tournaments in Australia, held since 1994 at the Domain Tennis Centre. Kim Clijsters, Alicia Molik, Anna Chakvetadze, Petra Kvitova, Elena Vesnina, Garbine Muguruza, Alize Cornet, Elise Mertens and Sofia Kenin are on the list of champions, with the young American claiming the title in January to end Mertens' two-year winning streak.

The Belgian will return to Hobart between January 11-18, 2020, joining Samantha Stosur in the field and seeking the third title in the last four seasons in Tasmania. Ranked outside the top-100, Mertens made an incredible run in Hobart, qualifying for the main draw and defeating Kristina Mladenovic, Sachia Vickery, Kiki Bertens, Jana Fett and Monica Niculescu, all in straight sets to lift the first WTA title in a career.

A year later, the Belgian was already in the top-40 and she successfully retained the title in Hobart, using a favorable draw and ousting Heather Watson and Mihaela Buzarnescu in the semis and the final to become the first champion who managed to defend the crown in Hobart.

For the last two seasons, Mertens has been the top-20 player in both singles and doubles, enjoying a stellar run with Aryna Sabalenka in 2019 after they won Indian Wells, Miami and the US Open. "I am so excited to return to Hobart in 2020," Mertens said.

"It is such a beautiful city and I have so many wonderful memories at this tournament. I can't wait to see my local fans in January." "We are delighted to have the world number 17 back in Hobart where she launched her career," Hobart International Tournament Director Darren Sturgess said. "Elise is undefeated here and her return is a great endorsement for the event and tennis in Tasmania."