Watson soaks up court time in Hobart WTA

Ethan James

British qualifier Heather Watson has played five singles matches in six days at the Hobart International but she wouldn't have it any other way.

The world No.101 will go into Friday's semi-final against big-hitting third seed Elena Rybakina as the underdog but with a strong run of form.

Watson upset top seed and world No.17 Elise Mertens in the quarter-finals in three gruelling sets that spanned three-and-a-half hours.

"Every point and every game was just super long. It was a really big test for me against a top player and one I'd never beaten before," she said.

Watson has spent close to 10 hours on court, having played two qualifying matches to reach the main draw.

"I've played a lot of tennis and that's great," she said.

"I'm not complaining at all. I remember this time last year, I was struggling. I'm just glad that I'm winning."

Watson has fond memories of Hobart, having lifted the trophy at the WTA event in 2015.

Her next opponent Rybakina also had a tough quarter-final. She was pushed to three sets by plucky Australian wildcard Lizette Cabrera.

In Friday's other semi-final, fourth seed Zhang Shuai faces Russian Veronika Kudermetova, who had a walkover when two-time grand slam winner Garbine Muguruza withdrew with a viral illness.