For Sophia Brooks-Gay, competing in the Warrnambool Grasscourt Open is a yearly tradition.
The Melbourne-based teenager is contesting the Warrnambool Lawn Tennis Club-based tournament after spending Christmas in the city, where her mother Sarah originates from.
"All my mum's family lives up here so it's pretty easy to get here," Brooks-Gay, 14, said.
"I've come down here (Warrnambool) every year since I was born.
"Mum used to play tennis here and won a few tournaments here."
Brooks-Gay, who started playing tennis from a young age, competed in the Pizzey Cup - a prestigious national schools championship - this year.
She said she enjoyed getting the opportunity to play more grass court matches throughout summer, including at Warrnambool, where its friendly-vibe is a highlight.
"It's easy to meet new people and make new friends," Brooks-Gay said of the open.
"And it's just a well-run tournament."
Brooks-Gay has enjoyed some success at the tournament since starting in under 10s in 2018, winning the 12 and under doubles in 2020 along with the parent-child doubles with dad Stephen.
She has also reached the final in the 14 and under singles and various quarter-finals and semi-finals.
This year the aggressive baseliner is entirely focused on the open women's draw and got her campaign under way in emphatic fashion, winning her round one singles match-up against Madison King, 6-1, 6-1.
It sets up a quarter-final clash on Thursday against third seed and last year's runner-up Summer Jones.
Jones didn't drop a game in her round one encounter with Laura Peart on Wednesday and will take confidence into the round two match-up.
With early showers causing a delay to the opening day's games, Brooks-Gay said conditions, including wind, were a factor.
"The conditions were very tough," she said.
"I didn't play how I wanted to play but you've got to adapt."
Brooks-Gay said her goal this week was to "play her best on the grass" and go as well as possible in all her matches.
She will also contest the open doubles and mixed doubles draws with partners Savannah James and Baxter Errey respectively.
Day two of the Warrnambool Grasscourt Open - a four-day competition which wraps up on Saturday - starts from 9am, Thursday.
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