Brisbane, 31 December 2010 | AAP

Rising teenager Olivia Rogowska apologised for an ugly racquet-throwing tantrum which tarnished, but also highlighted, a highly-encouraging start to the Australian summer on Friday.

Rogowska, who beat Jelena Dokic to claim an Australian Open wildcard last month, ended an otherwise forgettable 2010 on a high with an impressive 6-0 4-6 6-1 upset of China’s Shuai Zhang in the opening day of action at the Brisbane International.

After wiping the world No.90 off the court in the first set, the Melbourne 19-year-old lost the second set and her temper, forcing her to call on some new found mental strength to progress to the second round of qualifying.

Rogowska, hoping to be the seventh Australian woman to make the main draw, had saved two set points at 5-4 in the second and had a break point to even but a “nasty” baseline call cost her the chance and Zhang went on to claim the set.

The world No.259 threw her racquet at her chair from 10m away and watched it deflect into that of chair umpire Norkio Koizumo, who immediately issued a code violation.

Best remembered for a gut-wrenching third set meltdown against world No.1 Dinara Safina at the 2009 US Open, Rogowska was overjoyed after the 98-minute contest that she was able to bounce back and finish the match in style.

“That was a really nasty line call against me,” she told AAP. “I did get a little upset but I just tried to forget about it and start well in the third set and that’s what I did and I’m really pleased.”

Zhang’s forehand clearly looked long, and it was confirmed by her coach Ken Richardson, who was sitting adjacent to the baseline in the stands.

“He’ll probably be upset I did show a bit of emotion but I guess I have been working on it and it was a tight situation and a lot of people would have been upset,” Rogowska reasoned.

“But I definitely think that being mentally tough helped me in that third set just try and forget about it and play one point at a time.

“I was pleased with how mentally strong I played.”

Rogowska, the only one of four Australians to win her qualifying match on Friday, revealed her harrowing six-month winless run at the start of 2010 was largely a result of her 2009 near-miss against Safina at Flushing Meadows.

Up 3-0 and 15-40 receiving in the third set of the first-round match on centre court, the youngster went to water against the erratic Russian.

“It definitely did affect my game,” Rogowska said. “I played a really good match and I was pleased with how I played in front of a big crowd but I’m still not over it kind of.

“I just think ‘what if I won that match. What if? What if?’ But I’m trying to block that out and use it in a positive way.”

Other Australians struggled in qualifying with Isabella Holland, Tammi Patterson and Jessica Moore all falling in straight sets.

Top seed Samantha Stosur is likely to kick-off main draw action on Sunday with the world No.6 earmarked to play on Pat Rafter Arena so long as she doesn’t draw a qualifier.