Mildura, VIC, Australia, 10 March 2024 | Matt Trollope

The Australian Pro Tour continues onto Mildura, where Emerson Jones will step onto her favourite surface at the W35 category ITF event.

Main-draw action begins next week at the Mildura Lawn Tennis Club, in northwest Victoria.

CALENDAR: Australian Pro Tour

The qualifying events began on Sunday, with former world No.140 Zoe Hives opening her campaign with a 6-0 6-0 win over Hanin Choukair – her first competitive outing since Australian Open 2023.

Jones, meanwhile, will contest her fifth professional-level event of 2024 after also advancing to the girls’ singles final at Australian Open 2024.

She has a 4-2 career record on grass after her strong performances at back-to-back Pro Tour tournaments in Swan Hill 12 months ago.

The 15-year-old is one of 11 Australian players who have gained direct entry into the long-running Mildura tournament, with an acceptance list headed by world No.288 Maddison Inglis.

Countrywomen Tina Nadine Smith, Petra Hule and Lizette Cabrera – all top-400 ranked players – are also expected to be among the tournament’s top eight seeds.

The men’s entry list is headed by South Australian lefty Alex Bolt, a three-time champion on the Australian Pro Tour who has been ranked as high as world No.125.

Second and third on the list are Aussies James McCabe and Luke Saville, the latter a singles champion in Mildura in 2014.

Bolt, McCabe and Saville are among 10 Aussies earning direct entry into the tournament.

The Mildura International is the first of two grass-court events on the Australian Pro Tour, preceding next week’s Swan Hill International.