Canberra's Alison Bai gunning for first Australian Open singles berth at wildcard play-off

Canberra tennis player Alison Bai is gunning for her first Australian Open singles berth at the wildcard play-off in Melbourne on Monday.

Bai booked a ticket to her fifth Australian Open doubles tournament when the world No. 485 was handed a wildcard berth after knocking out top seed and world No.119 Arina Rodionova en route to the Canberra International semi-final last month.

Thirty-two of Australia's best players will battle it out for direct entry to the first grand slam of the year, with Rodionova the top women's seed and world No.145 Akira Santillan the top ranked man.

Australian Fed Cup captain Alicia Molik said the pay-off always proved an exciting week where anything can happen.

"We've got some really strong players such as Arina Rodionova, who has traditionally performed well at this event," Molik said.

"Then we have a group of promising young players, like Destanee Aiava and Jaimee Fourlis who had a taste of success at grand slam level earlier this year.

"With such an important prize on the line the play-off is an event where everyone has the opportunity to break through."