Karola Bejenaru is eyeing the big stage in Stuttgart
Karola Bejenaru is one win away from securing a place in the main draw at a $10,000 tournament in Germany after starting the new year the way she left off in 2015.
The 18-year-old Windsor player retained her Irish national indoor title last month and she followed that up by reaching the final round of qualifying in the Futures Tour event in Stuttgart yesterday.
Bejenaru overcame German player Linda Prenkovic 6-2, 6-4 and if she can win her next match then she will book her place in the first round proper.
And if she could win that she would have a chance of climbing up a rung or two up the ladder from her current world ranking of 970 as she aims for a place in the top 500 over the next 12 months.
"I am not looking that far ahead as I have to focus on my next match and take each point as it comes but obviously it gets more difficult the further you go in any tournament." said Bejenaru.
Today she will be up against another German but it promises to be a more difficult testing encounter against Laura Schaeder, if world rankings and past form are anything to go by.
Schaeder was ranked inside the top 500 last year and is now listed at 566 with a wealth of experience and a few trophies under her belt.
The 22-year-old has won six titles in similar tournaments - two singles and four doubles - and has played 181 matches in her career as a professional.
In contrast, Bejenaru is a relative rookie, having played just 14 singles matches on the tour, with a 50-50 success record in her short stint in the full-time ranks.