Former Australian Open finalist Dominika Cibulkova has overcame a spirited performance by Belgium’s Yanina Wickmayer to win their opening round match at the Brisbane International.
Cibulkova recovered from being 4-3 and 0-40 down on her serve in the third set to claim a tough 3-6 6-4 6-4 win on Pat Rafter Arena.
The Slovakian world No.38 will now face the winner of the match between Italian eighth seed Roberta Vinci and former world No.1 Jelena Jankovic.
Cibulkova is on the comeback trail after an injury-interrupted 2015, where she missed four months of the season to undergo Achilles-related surgery.
In other opening round action on Sunday, rising Swiss star Timea Bacsinszky became the first seed eliminated from the tournament when she was comprehensively beaten by Russia’s Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.
The world No.24, a finalist in Brisbane in 2013, eliminated fifth seed Bacsinszky in just over an hour with a 6-2 6-1 victory.
American Varvara Lepchenko will face second seed and 2015 Wimbledon finalist Garbine Muguruza in the second round after she defeated Slovakia’s Anna Karolina Schmiedlova in straight sets.