Ruby Hodgkin has been trying for around half a decade to get her hands on a Victorian Junior Grasscourt Championship singles title on home turf.
This year might be the Wodonga teenager's best chance as the number one seed of the under-14 and under-16 girls singles UTR event at Wodonga Tennis Centre.
Hodgkin couldn't have asked for a better start in the first of her five round-robin matches with a 6-3, 6-0 result against Yarrawonga's Olivia Corso on Wednesday.
Corso made it tough for Hodgkin in the early stages, but she eventually got the match on her terms.
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"I started a bit rocky but once I got the first set I was able to control the second," Hodgkin said.
"My serve helped me a lot. It set up a lot of points and helped me finish them easily.
"I needed to gain a bit of confidence with my forehand. I needed to hit it a bit harder.
"I like the lower bounce of the grass courts rather than hardcourts. It suits me a bit better."
A 6-2, 6-1 loss to second seed Mia Wilkinson later in the day stalled Hodgkin's momentum, but she's not out of the hunt.
Hodgkin said the number one seeding comes with added pressure, but she has embraced it.
"I've been playing here for five years. I've gone close and made semi-finals before and won a few doubles titles, but hopefully I can go one better and win the singles this year," she added.
Fellow Border prospect Charmaine Mutape is in the same draw as Hodgkin and split her two matches.
Mutape posted a first round win against Natalie Jovanovska, 6-4, 6-0, but went down to Corso, 6-0, 6-4 in the afternoon.
Albury's Lara Meagher, fresh off a win in the under-12 girls doubles at the Margaret Court Cup, got off to a flying start in the singles with a 6-1, 6-1 triumph against Emily Liddell.
It was a tough start for Albury's Chelsea McGrath who was unable to match the in-form Canaan Ameya in tier two of the open women's singles, falling 6-3, 6-0, while Simone Cameron handed her a 6-1, 6-0 loss.
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