Aussie tennis wildcard beats Hobart seed

Queensland teenager Lizette Cabrera has caused a major upset on day one of the Hobart International, disposing of world No.40 and fifth seed Misaki Doi.

The world No.216 from Townsville on Sunday beat her Japanese challenger 6-4 5-7 7-5 to progress to the second round.

“My legs started to go a little bit in the third (set) but I really wanted to win so I found a way,” Cabrera said.

Handed a wildcard to the main draw in Hobart after failing to qualify for the Brisbane International, Cabrera, 19, was making her WTA tour debut.

She now faces the winner of former top-10 and 2010 French Open winner Francesca Schiavone and Croatian qualifier Jana Fett.

“(Schiavone) won a grand slam and used to be a really top player and still is so it would be really exciting to play her,” Cabrera said of her upcoming prospects.

In other day-one action, American Shelby Rogers notched up a surprise 6-2 1-6 6-4 win over world No.34 Anastasija Sevastova from Latvia.

The 59th-ranked Rogers dismissed last year’s US Open quarter-finalist who was the Hobart second seed.

In bad news for tournament organisers, defending Hobart International champion Alize Cornet on Sunday announced she will not recontest the title.

The world No.41 was crushed 6-0 6-3 on Saturday by Czech opponent Karolina Pliskova in the Brisbane International final and said back soreness would prevent her playing in Hobart.

“So sad I can’t even try to defend my title @HobartTennis this year, but I need to take care of my back before the AO,” Cornet tweeted, indicating her intention to contest the Australian Open.

Cornet is the latest in a string of withdrawals from the tournament.

Australian Ash Barty, guaranteed a spot in the main draw after being handed a qualifying wildcard, has withdrawn from the singles citing shoulder soreness.

She will still contest the doubles with fellow Australian Casey Dellacqua.

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