As Sam Stosur looks for Australian Open back-up, two women's qualifying hopefuls showed they can mix it in the Melbourne Park trenches as they battle for spots in the main draw.
Sydneysider Monique Adamczak and veteran Anastasia Rodionova survived searching tests of their composure and streetfighting skills before winning their first round Open women's singles qualifying matches on Thursday.
As Stosur practised with 2011 Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova on a nearby court looking to emerge from her slump, both 29-year-old Adamczak and 30-year-old Rodionova dug themselves out of big holes to move a step closer to Open qualification.
Adamczak trailed 4-1 in the final set of her clash with Dinah Pfizenmaier of Germany before responding to the crowd's urgings to win 6-1 2-6 6-4.
Then Melbourne-based Rodionova scrambled back from a second set collapse to win a 2hr 35min marathon in swirling wind and heat 7-5 0-6 6-4 over Italian 20-year-old Nastassja Burnett.
Rodionova also had to claw back from a service break down early in the third set, before getting, then giving up a break of serve mid-set.
But she grabbed a vital service game hold to lead 5-4 in a deuce-laden match, before breaking Burnett's serve to love to clinch victory.
"It took a while but I'm happy with the way I played that last few games in very tough conditions," Rodionova said.
"I found a way at the end so I'm really happy with that."
Rodionova's younger sister Arina won her match played straight afterwards, beating Argentine Maria Irigoyen 6-1 6-4.
In-form Melbourne player Tammi Patterson was another first-up qualifying winner, beating Czech Zuzana Ondraskova 6-3 6-0.
But Sally Peers, Jessica Moore, West Australian Storm Sanders, and youngsters Priscilla Hon, Abbie Myers and Azra Hadzic were among those Australians to bow out.