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Aussie tennis wildcard beats Hobart seed

AAP logoAAP 7/01/2017 Andrew Drummond

Queensland teenager Lizette Cabrera has caused a major upset on day one of the Hobart International, disposing of world No.40 and fifth seed Misaki Doi.

The world No.216 from Townsville on Sunday beat her Japanese challenger 6-4 5-7 7-5 to progress to the second round.

"My legs started to go a little bit in the third (set) but I really wanted to win so I found a way," Cabrera said.

Handed a wildcard to the main draw in Hobart after failing to qualify for the Brisbane International, Cabrera, 19, was making her WTA tour debut.

She now faces the winner of 2010 French Open title holder Francesca Schiavone and Croatian qualifier Jana Fett.

In other day-one action, American Shelby Rogers notched up a surprise 6-2 1-6 6-4 win over world No.34 Anastasija Sevastova from Latvia.

The 59th-ranked Rogers dismissed last year's US Open quarter-finalist who was the Hobart second seed.

Former world No.1 Jelena Jankovic was another first-round loser on Sunday.

Romania's Monica Niculescu easily accounted for the Serb 6-2 6-3.

Jankovic now heads to Melbourne Park with limited match practise after a lacklustre 2016 plagued by a shoulder injury.

"I didn't really feel comfortable out there," she said of Sunday's match.

"I played against a player who's really tricky with playing those slices and drop shots ... and a lot of change of pace.

"I was very nervous. I was not feeling my game, I wasn't being myself out there and the wind didn't help."

The result hands Niculescu a good chance of reaching the final four in the tournament.

In bad news for tournament organisers, defending Hobart International champion Alize Cornet on Sunday announced she will not recontest the title.

The world No.41 was crushed 6-0 6-3 on Saturday by Czech opponent Karolina Pliskova in the Brisbane International final and said back soreness would prevent her playing in Hobart.

"So sad I can't even try to defend my title @HobartTennis this year, but I need to take care of my back before the AO," Cornet tweeted, indicating her intention to contest the Australian Open.

Cornet is the latest in a string of withdrawals from the tournament, which also includes world No.48 Naomi Osaka.

Australian Ashleigh Barty, guaranteed a spot in the main draw after being handed a qualifying wildcard, has withdrawn citing shoulder soreness.

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