Mildura VIC, Australia, 7 March 2017 | David Packman

Victorian Alana Parnaby is looking forward to her opening round match at the Mildura Grand International after qualifying earlier in the week.

“It’s good to get through,” the 22-year-old said. “I’ve always loved grass, it suits my game, and conditions are really good so I’m hoping I can go out and give it a crack.”

Parnaby will need to contend with rising French teenager Tessah Andrianjafitrimo, a semifinalist last week in Clare Valley. “She’s in good form but that doesn’t stop me from trying to do what I do,” Parnaby said.

“If I can execute my game, let’s see if it’s good enough.”

Currently sitting just outside the world’s top 1000, Melbourne-based Parnaby said she was hoping to improve her ranking significantly this year. “Until you get inside the top 600, some weeks you can be questioning if you will get into quallies or not. If I can do that, it will help me plan a little bit more easily,” she said.

With five Australians including wildcards Abbie Myers and Kaitlin Staines, as well as Storm Sanders, Sara Tomic and Alison Bai all failing to advance in Mildura on Tuesday, Parnaby will be hoping to reverse the trend.

The locals are guaranteed some first-round success with top seed Anastasia Rodionova facing compatriot Naiktha Bains and qualifier Monique Adamczak playing wildcard Gabriella Da Silva Fick on Wednesday.

Also in action are Aussie qualifers Olivia Tjandramulia, Alexandra Bozovic, Tammi Patterson and Genevieve Lorbergs, alongside wildcard Maddison Inglis.

American former top 20 player and 1999 Wimbledon semifinalist Alexandra Stevenson – another qualifier – will also take to the courts, facing Brit Harriet Dart.

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