Aussie girls in break­through wins

Sunshine Coast Daily - - TENNIS -

TEN­NIS: Home-grown hopes Zoe Hives, Kim­berly Bir­rell and As­tra Sharma are savour­ing the most sig­nif­i­cant wins of their ca­reers at Mel­bourne Park.

Hives de­fied her world rank­ing of No.225 to up­stage sea­soned Amer­i­can Bethanie Mat­tek-Sands 6-1 6-2 while fel­low wild­card en­trant Bir­rell joined her in the sec­ond round with a 6-4 6-2 de­feat of Span­ish qual­i­fier Paula Ba­dosa Gib­ert.

WA qual­i­fier Sharma also tasted grand slam vic­tory for the first time, out­last­ing good friend, Queens­land wild­card Priscilla Hon, 7-5 4-6 6-1 in op­pres­sive heat.

All will en­joy a sig­nif­i­cant rank­ings rise and at least $85,000 in prize­money.

Hives, a 22-year-old from Bal­larat mak­ing her grand slam de­but, plays French 19th seed Carolina Gar­cia to­mor­row.

“I’m still pro­cess­ing it a bit but, yeah, amaz­ing,” Hives said.

Hail­ing from the same South­port ten­nis cen­tre as Saman­tha Sto­sur and Bernard Tomic, Bir­rell will play Croa­t­ian Donna Ve­kic next.

Sharma will play ei­ther Greece’s Maria Sakkari or French Open 2017 cham­pion Je­lena Ostapenko.

Photo: GETTY IM­AGES

WIN­NER: As­tra Sharma plays a fore­hand.

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