World No 1 Iga Swiatek survived a critical examination from German Jule Niemeier in her opening match on the Australian Open in Melbourne.
Niemeier was a shock quarter-finalist at Wimbledon final summer time and likewise took a set off Swiatek within the fourth spherical of the US Open.
There was little to decide on between the pair on Rod Laver Arena, with Niemeier serving for the second set just for Swiatek to battle again and declare a 6-4 7-5 victory.
In-form American Jessica Pegula swept into the second spherical with a 6-0 6-1 win over Jaqueline Cristian in lower than an hour on Margaret Court Arena.
The third seed merely overpowered the Romanian in beneath an hour on court docket.
“Today’s simply a kind of days, all the things’s working, I feel you simply take them as they arrive all year long and I’ll simply get pleasure from it,” mentioned Pegula.
“It’s undoubtedly enjoyable coming in as a high seed, it is a new expertise for me.”
Pegula, whose mother and father personal the NFL staff Buffalo Bills, wrote “Go Bills! #3” with a coronary heart to pay tribute to the NFL staff’s security Damar Hamlin, who suffered a cardiac arrest on the sector earlier this month.
Compatriot Amanda Anisimova was dumped out within the first spherical after she misplaced 6-3 6-4 to 20-year-old Ukrainian Marta Kostyuk.
It was a second straight first-round exit at a Grand Slam for Anisimova, who departed in tears.
Greek sixth seed Maria Sakkari loved a simple 6-1 6-4 win over China’s Yuan Yue to arrange a tie towards Russian qualifier Diana Shnaider.
Petra Kvitova, runner-up in 2019, started her marketing campaign by seeing off difficult first-round opponent Alison Van Uytvanck 7-6 (7-3) 6-2.
Victoria Azarenka got here via a troublesome first-round battle towards Sofia Kenin 6-4 7-6 (7-3) to make sure she could be the one former Australian Open champion remaining within the girls’s draw.
“We work onerous day-after-day,” she mentioned. “The off season is filled with blood, sweat and tears so we will go on the market and do our greatest. It’s excessive stress so I nonetheless really feel nervous.”
Last 12 months’s runner-up Danielle Collins was made to work in her first-round match towards Anna Kalinskaya earlier than finally sealing progress with a 7-5 5-7 6-4 victory, firing 55 winners previous the Russian.
Australian wildcard Olivia Gadecki claimed her first Grand Slam match victory when she beat Polina Kudermetova 7-5 6-1 at a raucous Court 8.
Gadecki is being mentored by retired Australian Open champion and former world No 1 Ashleigh Barty.