KNOWSLEY'S Eliza Long will carry local hopes into qualifying for the first of two William Loud Bendigo Internationals, starting Sunday.
Long is the sole Bendigo Tennis Association player set to do battle for four spots in the main draw.
The $50,000 Pro Circuit event hits-off on Tuesday, with world number 129 Ashleigh Barty and 2011 Bendigo winner Casey Dellacqua headlining a high-quality field.
Long faces a big challenge to win three qualifying matches to reach the main draw.
The Catholic College Bendigo year 12 student has scaled back her tennis commitments this year and will be up against hardened players.
"Eliza hasn't played one single tournament of any level since Pro Circuit here last year," BTA executive officer Leon Retallick said.
"She's been down here hitting a lot and she's still playing pennant in Melbourne, but she's just focused on year 12."
Long is likely to play early on when qualifying matches hit-off at 9am on Sunday.
Number one seed Nives Baric and 2011 Bendigo International finalist Isabella Holland loom as two players to beat in qualifying.
Holland received a boost on her comeback from injury by winning the $15,000 Toowoomba Pro Circuit event last month.
Baric is familiar with the Bendigo courts from the BTA's winter money tournament in July, when she defeated Zoe Hives in the final.
Ballarat's Hives played Junior Fed Cup in Bendigo last year and should be high in qualifying contention.
Pamela Boyanov, Ashley Keir and Naiktha Bains have been handed wildcards into the main draw, with one wildcard still to be announced.
First and second round qualifying matches will be played Sunday, with the third and final round to be played Monday morning.
The main draw of the Bendigo International runs from Tuesday until Sunday's final, before the second $50,000 event which starts the next day and ends Sunday, November 3.
"It's free entry for specators and it's a good chance to watch some pretty good players," Retallick said.