Top-seed Camila Giorgi has crafted a third-set comeback to progress to round two of the Hobart International.
The Italian world No.35 on Sunday overcame Kazakhstani challenger Zarina Diyas 6-4 1-6 6-1, but had to push past a mid-match slump for victory.
The turnaround could have been thanks to a chat from coach and father Sergio Giorgi after the second set.
“He spoke about the things we’ve been working on,” the 24-year-old told reporters after her win.
Whatever the conversation, it did the trick.
“I moved good, the first and the third sets, with the feet,” Giorgi said, adding that mistakes crept into her play in the second set.
The world No.35 has become the top seed for the Hobart International after Saturday’s withdrawal by American Sloane Stephens.
Giorgi denied the seeding added extra pressure for her to perform.
“I focus on the match, nothing else.”
She will now play the winner of Monday’s match between France’s Pauline Parmentier and Japan’s Nao Hibino and no matter who the opponent, Giorgi goes in as favourite.
Earlier on Sunday Australian wildcard entry Maddison Inglis was eliminated by world No.61, Russian Margarita Gasparyan 6-4 6-3.
The result means the Perth teenager will have to rely on her Hobart doubles campaign for match practice ahead of her Australian Open debut for which she earned a wildcard.
Despite Sunday’s result, Inglis said the match has helped her overcome nerves.
“I had a few chances at the start and I was really nervous in the warm up so I was surprised how I felt going out there, I was pretty relaxed,” she told reporters.
“It’s not that scary, so I’ll take that into next week.”
In other matches French seventh seed Alize Cornet progressed to round two with a 6-4 7-5 win over Denisa Allertova and Australian doubles duo Jarmila Wolfe and Kimberly Birrell defeated Kateryna Bondarenko and Tatjana Maria 6-4 6-4.
An action-packed Monday will see both Wolfe and Birrell contest round-one singles matches.
Defending champion, Briton Heather Watson, will be on centre court against Brazil’s Teliana Pereira and world No.38 Dominika Cibulkova meets Johanna Konta.
But the match expected to steal all the attention is that of former world No.5 Eugenie Bouchard and American veteran Bethanie Mattek-Sands.
Bouchard only returned to competition last week in China after an injury-enforced four-month absence as a result of the concussion she suffered when she slipped in the locker room at the US Open at Flushing Meadows.
The Canadian told reporters in Hobart on Sunday she is happy to be back on court but has no expectations ahead of the WTA event or the Australian Open.
“A month or two ago I wasn’t even sure I could play the Australian Open so I’m just so happy to be in Australia, looking forward to playing these two tournaments (with) zero expectations,” she said.