Kim van der Horst is a long way from her native Netherlands, but she is quickly making herself at home on the grasscourts of Wodonga.
The 24-year-old from Amsterdam defeated the fourth-seeded Danielle Wagland 2-6 6-2 6-4 in an entertaining three-set match yesterday to advance to the semi-finals of the Victorian Grasscourt Championships.
Van der Horst is visiting Australia on a four-month break after university and decided to pack her tennis racquets.
“I wanted to travel after I graduated from my marketing degree, but then I thought four months without tennis might be too much, so I took my racquets with me,” van der Horst said.
“I played two tournaments in Sydney when I arrived, and then I wanted to play here because I’ve never played on grass before.”
“We don’t have grasscourts in the Netherlands, it’s all mostly clay courts.”
“When I started playing here, my first thought was ‘oh my God, how am I going to manage this?’, but it’s really been a lot of fun so far.”
Van der Horst remained cool despite the soaring temperatures to down Wagland.
Wagland, 18, was ranked 94th in the WTA in January last year, but was unable to recapture that form against van der Horst.
“It was a really tough match,” van der Horst said.
“She started off her game really good, but then I started to pick up my game at the start of the second set.”
“I tried to get as many balls back as possible and make it more of a match, and that really worked.”
Van der Horst said she was eager to get back out on the grass because she was having so much fun.
“It’s a totally different game,” she said.
“You don’t slide around as much as the clay, but you can still move around a lot. I really like it.”
Van der Horst will now face an in-form Kate Antosik in the semi-final, after Antosik comfortably defeated Sevy Gallios 6-2 6-1.
No. 1 seed Julia Moriarty cruised to a 6-1 6-1 victory over Jayde Viccars.