Former world No.1 Victoria Azarenka has showcased her fighting spirit to secure a 7-6 (11-9) 7-6 (7-5) win over Ukrainian Anhelina Kalinina at the Adelaide International 1.
Kalinina raced out to a 5-1 lead early in Tuesday's match, but Azarenka saved five set points to steal the first set and the all-important momentum.
Azarenka led 3-0 in the second set, but suffered some wobbles and blew two match points as the contest headed to another tiebreak.
The two-time grand slam winner saw another two match points slip through her fingers but finally sealed the win in two hours, 37 minutes.
"When you talk about first matches it's never easy, and this one definitely wasn't," Azarenka said during her on-court interview after the match.
"I played an opponent who played really well.
"I felt like I couldn't find my footing at the beginning of the match. I hope to do a little bit better tomorrow."
The Belarusian will next face world No.28 Zheng Qinwen, who saved a match point on the way to a 6-1 4-6 7-6 (9-7) win over No.6 seed Anett Kontaveit.
Zheng, the 2022 WTA Newcomer of the Year, led 4-2 in the second set before Kontaveit reeled off four straight games to send it to a decider.
World No.17 Kontaveit had a match point at 7-6 in the third-set tiebreak, but Zheng held firm to save it before sealing the win moments later.
Seventh seeded Latvian Jelena Ostapenko made short work of Czech Karolina Pliskova 6-1 6-3 while Russian Ekaterina Alexandrova suffered an upset 4-6 6-3 6-2 loss to Marketa Vondrousova.
Australian wildcard Priscilla Hon was left to rue some missed opportunities as she fell to American qualifier Claire Liu 4-6 6-3 6-3.
Romanian Sorana Cirstea overcame Swiss Viktorija Golubic 6-0 7-6 (7-1).