Marina Erakovic believes that she can return to the world's top 50, despite not being near those lofty heights for almost three years.
Erakovic, who was granted an ASB Classic wildcard on Wednesday, has endured a "pretty average year".
She was ranked outside the top 100 - at one stage as low as 193 - and had to battle through qualifying to make the main draw of most tournaments.
Erakovic didn't figure in the first round proper in Melbourne, Paris or New York, and disappeared off the radar after Wimbledon, playing just three tournaments in three months.
She has also recently changed coaches, with Auckland-based Welsey Whitehouse her new mentor, after two and a half years with Spaniard Eduardo Nicolas.
But Erakovic is remaining positive, saying it is only a matter of time before she is back among the top echelon.
"Yes, that's a no brainer," Erakovic told the New Zealand Herald. "I definitely think I can [return to the top 50]. I think I have the game for it - I have a great game no matter who I play - [and] I have strengths to challenge anyone so that is a realistic goal, absolutely."
She was last inside the world's top 50 in January 2014 and it's a long road back, but she is set up for a positive start to next year.
Direct entry to her home tournament was inevitable - given her deeds at Stanley street over the years - but more important was squeezing in below the Australian Open cutoff.
"That was big," admitted Erakovic. "When you are sitting between 50 and 110 playing the Slams in what funds you for the year."
Her place in Melbourne was the result of some rigourous number crunching in the last fortnight of the season, to work out what was required for the golden ticket.
"I never usually look at rankings but this time I did," said Erakovic.
She studied previous history in Melbourne - which showed that the women's main draw cutoff was usually 108 or 109 - and analysed who was playing in the last two weeks of the year.
A semi final appearance in Taipei, followed by a first round win in Honolulu, was enough to drag her ranking from 113 to 105.
Now she is looking forward. The knee injury that plagued her until April is gone, and she is taking positives from her struggles in 2016.
"It was a pretty average year but almost all of the matches I did lose were very tight, three set battles," said Erakovic.
Defeats in French and US Open qualifying particularly hurt, as did a first round loss in Seoul ("that was a winnable tournament").
But she did progress to the third round at SW19, her best run at a Major in three years, and also won seven matches in Morocco in an improbable run to the final from qualifying.
"The average age of a WTA player is around my age," said the 28-year-old Erakovic, "so hopefully there is a lot more to come. That's what I hope, that's what I believe. Let's see."
Marina Erakovic Year end ranking