Longtime club member Zoe Hives had a great 2018, jumping from No.378 to No.220 in the world and has been reward with an Australian Open Main Draw Wild Card.
During 2018 which she claimed her first ITF $60,000 title in Canberra as well as a pair of $25,000-level titles in Playford and Toowoomba. Zoe reached the semifinals of the recent AO Play-off and has received a wildcard into the Hobart International as well.
Last week she was impressive during Brisbane International qualifying, upsetting former world No.12 Yanina Wickmayer before falling in a tight match in the second round.
“Zoe had a really strong back end of the year also, winning the 60K title in Canberra. Her physicality and mentality have really improved and there’s a new maturity,” Nicole Pratt observed. “And we saw her beat a quality player in Brisbane in Wickmayer. Wickmayer doesn’t beat herself – Zoe beat her. Then she stretched (top-100 player) Anastasia Potapova to 7-5 in the third. She’s more than capable of going a few rounds at the Australian Open.”
Aiava, Perez and Hives will join compatriots Ash Barty, Daria Gavrilova, Ajla Tomljanovic, Sam Stosur, Priscilla Hon and Kimberly Birrell in the main draw at Australian Open 2019.
Meanwhile, the unlucky pair to miss out of Main Draw Wild Cards were another two club members, Jaimee Fourlis and Astra Sharma, who will both start qualification on Wednesday.