Croatian tennis battler Jana Fett has admitted to toying with the idea of tanking in Hobart in order to make the Australian Open qualifying draw.
Fett was faced with the tough decision: win her second-round match at the Hobart International and progress to the tournament's quarter final to be played on Thursday, or lose and make it to Melbourne for Open qualifying on the same day.
"All day I was thinking: should I play good, should I play bad, should I go, what should I do?" the 20-year-old world No.340 told reporters after eventually beating Queensland teenager Lizette Cabrera 6-1 6-3 in just 75 minutes on Tuesday.
"Before the match I thought I'd go to the Australian Open. But then I came on the court and I couldn't play bad. I started playing good and I wanted to keep going.
"This is the first time I was a bit sad I won because I can't play at the Aussie Open now.
"It was a big decision, but I hope I made a good choice.
"There will be lots of grand slams and lots of tournaments but this is my first (WTA main draw) quarter-final and I feel like with my (wrist) injury last year I need some points to get back to my ranking, so I just thought this would give me the opportunity to do that.
"It was a good decision in the end. I was trying to win."
With a number of big-name withdrawals from the Hobart tournament, several young players have progressed further than expected, posing a timing dilemma.
Mertens' second-round opponent, America's Sachia Vickery, retired with a leg complaint on Tuesday just five-and-half minutes into their contest.
She is expected to play in Melbourne qualifiers.
The qualifying draw for the Australian Open is due to be released on Wednesday.
Ahead of her Hobart campaign, Fett said she had hoped to qualify and score a round-one win before being knocked out in the second round, allowing her to head to Melbourne Park.