Eugenie Bouchard’s comeback from injury continues on a positive note with the Canadian making the quarter-finals of the Hobart International.
But it was a far from polished former world No.5 who on Tuesday accounted for Belgium contender Alison Van Uytvanck 6-4 7-5.
“I just felt my timing was a bit off and my serve was definitely not there so at least I pulled through, but I definitely want to be able to play better than that,” Bouchard told reporters after the match.
As games went against serve, the 21-year-old quickly became frustrated, shaking her racquet in annoyance midway through the first set.
“I really had to fight and stay calm and not get too negative,” said Bouchard, who at times looked less than passionate on court.
“So many things go into a match like this that they’re good to pull out of victorious.”
The result marks two wins from two days for Bouchard, who returned to action last week at China’s Shenzhen Open after an injury-enforced layoff.
She suffered concussion from a fall in the change rooms during September’s US Open and had to withdraw from subsequent events.
Ahead of the Australian Open Bouchard said she has no expectations of herself and is still some way off the form that brought her her 2014 top ranking.
“I still feel like I’m far off personally, but it’s not too terrible.”
And along the way she’s developing valuable match fitness.
“It’s kind of like building up the body a bit and preparing for the whole grind of the whole year on tour.”
Bouchard next faces tournament top-seed Italian Camila Giorgi who earlier on Tuesday defeated Japan’s Nao Hibino 6-2 6-3 in a clinical performance.
A woman of few words, Giorgi said of her victory, “it was a good match” and that in the quarter final she will remain focused on herself.
In other day-three action Sweden’s Johanna Larsson defeated Russian Margarita Gasparyan 6-3 3-6 6-3.
She goes on to play the winner of Wednesday’s clash between defending champion Heather Watson and fourth seed Monica Niculescu.
Also on day four Queensland wildcard entry Kimberly Birrell, 17, meets Slovakian world No.37 Dominika Cibulkova.