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Hobart, Tasmania Trip: Centre Court Action
New Australian Jarmila Groth started her Tasmanian trip with a solid win over Swede Johanna Larsson. Looking strong and confident, Groth collected a few more fans and looked right at home in the updated stadium.
No sign of husband Sam or coach Gavin Hopper. Looks like the rising star will have to make her own way around the sights on this trip.
The next match brought young Aussie Olivia Rogowska to the main arena. Fresh from winning the wild-card playoff for the Australian Open, the Moorilla Hobart International was not so kind to the 19-year-old.
Her opponent, Tamira Paszek from Austria had her measure from the outset. It must be said though, Rogowska had the most delightful outfit of the day!
From new, to young, to veteran Australian: crowd favourite Alicia Molik was next to open her Tasmanian campaign at the Domain Tennis Centre.
After a shaky start, Alicia saved three first-set points against another Swedish player (Sofia Arvidsson), going on to win 7-5 6-3.
In her post match interview, Molik mentioned that tournament director Michael Roberts suggested a Tasmanian trip for her February honeymoon. Hopefully she will be back to holiday in Hobart in February, for Australia’s Fed Cup clash with Italy, at least.
Moorilla Hobart: International Contingent
After the Australian flavour of Day 2 in Hobart, the international stars came out during the evening. On the comeback trail from injury, Dinara Safina was the headline act this year in Tasmania. A trip to the island state was to be the catalyst for a Serena-like second coming.
But sadly, it was not to be. Despite a valiant effort, Safina was no match for the consistency of French player and tournament top-seed Marion Bartoli. With an unorthodox service action, and double-handed ground strokes from both wings, Bartoli was far too strong for the tall Russian.
Creating her own attention on Court One was American Bethanie Mattek-Sands. Straight from Perth, where she combined with John Isner to win the Hopman Cup, Mattek-Sands was sporting her trademark ridiculous outfit (to quote sports commentator Tim Gossage).
Tennis Tasmania Trip into Town
The headquarters for Tennis Tasmania are only a stone’s throw from the CBD on Hobart’s Queens Domain. The club has magnificent views of the Derwent River, where cruise ships dock during the summer season. The Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens are a skip further up the hill, and in the distance are the light towers of Bellerive Oval, home of the Tasmanian Tigers cricket team.
Spectators seemed to be enjoying the recent update to the Hobart stadium and facilities. The lawn area was a popular place to watch the high-quality tennis, while the patrons in the corporate seating area seemed equally comfortable. Well, okay – maybe they were a tad more comfortable!
And as much as I love the Australian Open, there’s a lot to be said about the Moorilla Hobart International in terms of value for money. Tickets in Tasmania for a trip to the tennis cost as little as $10. And the same players signing autographs in Hobart will board a plane and fly to Melbourne once the Moorilla is finished.
Planning your own Tasmania trip? Heading to the tennis? See the Moorilla Hobart International website for more details.
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