For more than two years, the defining moment of Olivia Rogowska's tennis career has been the most gallant of defeats.
Now, buoyed by new-found self-belief, the Melbourne local can finally claim a new highlight; a first success at her home grand slam.
After crashing out at the first hurdle of her three previous Australian Open campaigns, the 21-year-old Rogowska powered to a 6-3, 6-1 triumph over Sweden's Sofia Arvidsson.
Joining her in the second round on day one were Casey Dellacqua and Bernard Tomic, who came from two sets down to oust number 22 seed Fernando Verdasco from Spain 4-6, 6-7 (3-7), 6-4, 6-2, 7-5.
But compatriot Anastasia Rodionova had no such luck against world number one Caroline Wozniacki, who advanced without incident into the next round.
Wozniacki withstood an early barrage from the Australian before turning the screws to win 6-2, 6-1 in a solid workout.
The top-seeded Dane was at her counter-punching best, absorbing an early blitz of winners from Rodionova and preying on any mistakes to demoralise her opponent.
Wozniacki has been criticised for not having any 'killer' shots, but her superb court movement and ability to get balls back into play were more than enough to defeat Rodionova, who grew ragged as the match went on.
The only time Rodionova was able to put any pressure on Wozniacki was when she had two break points at 2-3 in the first set.
But Wozniacki was able to save both to begin a run of nine consecutive games. She now goes on to meet Georgia's Anna Tatishvili in the second round.
Wozniacki said she was pleased not to feel any effects of a sprained left wrist she sustained in Sydney last week.
"It feels better. I was a bit nervous before the match, I didn't know exactly what to expect. I'm very happy about the way I felt out there today," she said.
"You always just want to get a good start in the first round. I'm pretty happy about the way I played."
Both Dellacqua and Tomic have previously enjoyed days in the sun at the majors.
Until Monday, Rogowska was best known for pushing then world number one Dinara Safina to the brink in the opening round of the 2009 US Open, only to lose in three tights sets.
"This one is up there with my French Open win (in the first round against Russian Maria Kirilenko in 2009) and my US Open performance," said Rogowska, who made all the running against the counter-punching Arvidsson.
"This is the second time I've been in the second round of a grand slam so I'm going to treat it differently and focus straight away on my next match (against fifth seed Li Na).
"My approach today was a bit different to the other times I've played at the Australian Open.
"I believed in myself, I stayed calm and composed and it really helped me get the win."
Dellacqua snapped a two-match losing streak against Serbia's Bojana Jovanovski with a comprehensive 6-2, 6-2 victory to set up a dream second-round encounter with world number three Victoria Azarenka from Belarus.
It was her first victory in a grand slam tournament since early 2010 and came after she had spent much of the last three years recovering from shoulder and foot surgery.
"But I was still watching a lot of tennis, I watched everything I possibly could," she said.
"I was in touch with everything that was going on but always with the frame of mind that I would get back."
For two sets, Sydney journeyman Greg Jones looked like he had the measure of number 13 seed Alexandr Dolgopolov from Ukraine.
But the grand slam rookie faltered before going down 1-6, 4-6, 6-1, 6-1, 6-2 to Dolgopolov, the surprise packet of the 2011 Open when he advanced to the quarter-finals.
"I played one sloppy game and he got a break in the third set and got the momentum," Jones said.
"My body wasn't too good in the last two sets.
"I'm shattered, being up two sets to love against the 13th best player in the world is a great opportunity."
Fifteen-year-old reigning Wimbledon junior champion Ashleigh Barty went down 6-2, 7-6 (7-4) to Anna Tatashvili from Georgia and Ben Mitchell lost 6-4, 6-4, 7-6 (7-1) to John Isner, the big-serving 16th seed from the US.
AAP/AFPTags: australian-open, tennis, sport, melbourne-3000, vic, australia First posted January 16, 2012 21:51:16