Melbourne: Australian Jarmila Gajdosova finally broke a demoralising run at her home Grand Slam on Monday, winning an opening round game for the first time in 10 years.
The 27-year-old has played the tournament every year since 2006 and been knocked out in her first match each time.
She finally cleared the hurdle by beating Romanian Alexandra Dulgheru 6-3, 6-4 and said the relief was so great it felt like winning the final.
"I was talking to my coach and I told him I actually did feel like I won the Australian Open," she said.
"It was just the first round but it`s been such a long time coming. Not to be able to do it in your home Grand Slam was very devastating for me.
"I was very happy and relieved that I got this monkey off my back."
Gajdosova, who has got past the first round numerous times at the other three Grand Slams, said she always believed her luck would change.
"If I didn`t, I wouldn`t be playing, would I?" she said.
"It was my 10-year anniversary, so there was going to be celebration or one for the sadness. I`m glad it`s a celebration."
Her reward is a clash with world number three Simona Halep.