By Associated Press - Tuesday, January 8, 2019

HOBART, Australia (AP) - Belinda Bencic eased into the quarterfinals at the WTA Tour’s Hobart International, beating Australian wild card Zoe Hives 6-2, 6-4.

Hives pulled off an upset when she beat Johanna Larsson to reach the second round but couldn’t repeat that form against a polished Bencic, who set up a quarterfinal against 18-year-old Ukrainian Dayana Yastremska.

Seventh-seeded Kirsten Flipkens moved into the final eight with a 6-7 (3), 6-4, 6-1 win over Slovakia’s Viktoria Kuzmova 6-7 (3) 6-4, 6-1.

Earlier, Anna Karolina Schmiedlova of Slovakia continued her strong start to the new year, beating eighth-seeded Alison Van Uytvanck.

A winner of three singles titles on the WTA Tour and 12 more on the ITF circuit, the 24-year-old Schmiedlova is on the rise again after reaching a ranking peak in 2015 only to drop out of the top 100 the following year.

She began 2018 ranked 132 but broke back into the top 100 and finished the year ranked 74.


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