Sacha Jones.
Sacha Jones. Dean Purcell

Jones starts defection in Hobart

SACHA Jones, the New Zealander turned Australian, has qualified for the main draw of the Hobart International, her first tournament since her defection.

Jones, 21, was given a wildcard into qualifying and got past Alexandra Cadantu and Magdalena Rybarikova, before beating American Alison Riske 6-2 6-3 in the third round of qualifying to seal her spot in the main draw.

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Her opponent in the first round is Kristina Barrois of Germany.

Jones, ranked 274th in the world, told Australian media that she was enjoying playing in front of her new home fans.

"It's actually been a really nice week to start and having the crowd support me because I'm an Australian is so cool,'' she said on the tournament's website.

"[Tennis Australia] gave me a wildcard into this event so that's obviously one thing that's been really helpful, otherwise I would be at home just practising right now."

New Zealand No 1 Marina Erakovic has drawn No 1 seed Janina Wickmayer on centre court this afternoon. Erakovic was knocked out in the first round of the recent ASB Classic, while Wickmayer, seeded seventh in Auckland, was beaten in the second round.

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