Whanganui's Emma Hayman bowed out of the singles in the ASB Classic qualifying tournament yesterday but was buoyed by the news that she has made the Fed Cup team.
Hayman lost to the 2011 ASB Classic champion Greta Arn 6-3 6-2 in the second round, but the contest that lasted nearly an hour and a half was a lot closer than the scoreline suggests.
The 24-year-old Hayman, who beat fellow Kiwi Imogen Golder on Saturday, said her time at the Classic has further cemented her desire to give it a real go on the circuit this year.
"It was an awesome experience playing Greta, the champion here in 2011," Hayman said.
"I went out there knowing I had nothing to lose and it was the biggest match of my life.
"I really enjoyed it but she's been in that situation a few more times.
"I wish and hope that us Kiwis can get this experience more often because we really lack it down here."
Hayman is a late starter onto the circuit, having previously attended Charleston College in America.
"I did four years of playing college and then eight months of teaching tennis to get a bit of cash and then decided I wanted to play a few tournaments in Europe with that money.
"It was more of a backpacking with a tennis racquet experience to see what it's like out there.
"I have been playing back here for a couple of months and I was lucky enough to get a wildcard here and I think there might be a few more tennis things coming up with tournaments around here and Europe.
"I love being on court, I am a bit older, I'm 24, but I have got a bit of experience of match play from college.
"I'd like to give it a year and see what happens. Greta won the tournament here last year and I wasn't that far behind her.
"I saw today that I can keep up with her, it's just stupid errors."
After her match Hayman was confirmed in the four-player New Zealand Fed Cup team along with Marina Erakovic, Emily Fanning and Abigail Guthrie.
The Fed Cup will take place in Kazakhstan, February 4-10.
The good news continued for Hayman when she was given a place in the main draw of doubles at the the ASB Classic, where she will partner with Guthrie against Julia Glushko from Israel and Ukraine's Yuliya Beygelzimer.
There is almost an all-Kiwi affair in another of the first round doubles match with the juniors Claudia Williams and Paige Hourigan going up against Marina Erakovic and Britain's Heather Watson tonight.
- Fairfax Media