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Jankovic eyes Aust Open from Hobart

AAP logoAAP 7/01/2017 Andrew Drummond

World No.1 Jelena Jankovic plans to use the Hobart International to help rebuild her tennis career after a lacklustre 2016.

Now ranked 54, Jankovic makes her Hobart debut with a first-round clash against Romanian Monica Niculescu.

"She's a very tricky player, very crafty player with all the slices and drop-shots, quite a unique style of play and it will not be an easy match," the Serb said of her world No.38 opponent.

Shoulder injuries marred last year for Jankovic and while claiming to be fit, said she's still working on her confidence and consistency ahead of the Australian Open.

"I'm trying to comeback and hopefully get as many matches as possible before Melbourne," she said.

"For me at the moment every tournament is important ... to get the confidence needed before entering a big event.

"It would be nice for me just to get on the road."

Australian comeback player Ash Barty is inching toward a spot in the Hobart main draw with two qualifiying wins.

The 20-year-old Queensland and 2012 junior Wimbledon champion is keen to resurrect her tennis career after a stint in cricket

On Saturday the world No.271 beat American and 88th ranked Nicole Gibbs 4-6 7-6 6-4 to progress to her third and final qualification round against Japan's Risa Ozaki.

Kiki Bertens from the Netherlands is top-ranked player at the Hobart International at No.22.

She meets Germany's Annika Beck in the first round.

Reigning Hobart champion Alize Cornet is due to return in 2017.

She playes Kristyna Pliskova to decide the final of the Brisbane International on Saturday night, and the pair meet again for round-one in Hobart.

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