Wolfe draws qualifier in Aust Open

After copping a long line of tough round-one draws the Australian Open, Jarmila Wolfe has finally caught a break.

The Slovak-born Australian will square off against a qualifier in the opening round at Melbourne Park and she readily admits it’s a welcome relief.

“I had the worst draws for about nine years,” the 28-year-old Wolfe said on Friday.

“I was playing Serena (Williams) twice, (Ai) Sugiyama, (Maria) Kirilenko, (Yanina) Wickmayer you name them, I played them.

“I still lost four and five (games) in the third (set), tight matches, but I lost them.”

For the world No.110 who is still battling a debilitating energy-zapping condition similar to glandular fever, the challenges have been great.

Wolfe lost in the opening round at the Open for eight straight years before finally breaking her duck in 2015, only to run headlong into then-world No.3 Simona Halep in the second round.

But she’s aware that qualifiers come armed with valuable momentum.

“I play a qualifier who already won three matches so either way they’re going to be already playing well and used to playing there so it’s going to be somewhat difficult,” she said.

“Hopefully I will play well and it’s going to be good enough on the day.”

Wolfe will also contest the Open mixed doubles with fellow Australian Matthew Ebden and will seek a wildcard for the women’s doubles with Daniela Hantuchova.

At the Hobart International Wolfe has reached the final of the doubles with Gold Coast teenager Kimberly Birrell.

The 17-year-old has received a wildcard to the Open where she has a tough round-one opponent in world No.11 Karolina Pliskova.

“She’s a really great player so it’s going to be a really great experience for me,” Birrell said.

“I’m happy to be there and be in the main draw. I’m really grateful for the opportunity and hopefully I play well.”

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