KINGSTON teenager Zoe Hives says facing German Julia Goerges is great preparation for her Australian Open junior campaign.
Hives played the world number 72, and former top-20 player, in the first round of qualifiers for the Sydney International yesterday.
While falling 6-2 6-0, Hives was competitive through close games and managed to claim a couple of games late in the first set.
Georges’ physicality and experience proved too strong.
“I had my chances to win games. She just keeps going and going, whereas playing against juniors, they have lapses,” Hives said.
“It is good (for the Australian Open) – I’m not going to get someone who plays like that (in juniors) in Melbourne.”
Sydney International is a key lead-in tournament to the Australian Open and main draw play start tomorrow.
The International boasts one of the strongest qualifying fields of any WTA event in the world.
This year the main draw entry cut-off is world no.33 Daniela Hantuchova.
Hives, aged 17, said it was definitely a good, new experience.
The MCC Tennis Academy-coached Hives will turn her attention to an ITF junior tournament in Traralgon next week.
Australian Open girls’ singles competition starts on January 18.