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Fourlis wins Australian Open wildcard

AAP logoAAP 18/12/2016 Ben McKay

Melbourne teenager Jaimee Fourlis is heading to the Australian Open after recording a straight-sets victory over Abbie Myers in the playoff final on Sunday.

Fourlis, the world No.425, defeated Myers 7-6 (8-6) 7-5 at Melbourne Park and will play in her first grand slam as a 17-year-old with the triumph.

The win was sweet for Fourlis, who lost the final of the under-18 Australian championship last week, which also carried Australian Open entry as a prize.

She said it was a "pretty surreal feeling" to be preparing for a tournament alongside the the sport's best players.

"It is an incredible feeling. I don't know how to describe it," she said.

"I don't really care (who I draw).

"It'll be an amazing feeling playing in front of a home crowd. I wouldn't mind drawing an Aussie because then it'd be even. It'll be awesome no matter what."

In Sunday's final, Fourlis showed her intent with a dashing down-the-line backhand winner in the match's first point on the way to breaking Myers in the opening game.

But the 22-year-old returned fire and took Fourlis to an opening set tiebreak.

Myers, the world No.600, lost a set point in the tight decider, and led for most of the second set after securing an early break.

Fist-pumping along the way, Fourlis recovered to level the set and won it with a break in the 12th game.

Fourlis said spending time with Australian No.1 Sam Stosur in training in recent months had rubbed off on her.

"She's one of the best - she hasn't won a grand slam for nothing. She does everything right. I really look up to her and I respect her a lot," she said.

Fourlis also guaranteed to at least quadruple her career earnings even with a first-round loss in the year's first major, which will be worth at least $38,500.

She joins Destanee Aiava, who defeated her in the under-18 final, in the 128-player field for the year's first grand slam.

Aiava, who is 16 and the world No.388, will be the first player born in the 2000s to play in a major.

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