Sofia Kenin was far from her best, but she is into the second round of the Australian Open with a 7-5, 6-4 win over Australia’s Maddison Inglis in the sunshine on Rod Laver Arena.
In just her second ever appearance at the Melbourne slam, Inglis raced into a 3-1 lead in the opener as Kenin’s forehand let her down badly.
But a wild Inglis forehand in the fifth game put Kenin back on serve before the 2020 Australian Open champion, who generally improved as the set went along, eventually broke to go 6-5 up and sealed the set in 46 minutes.
Injured Barty joins Halep, Kenin in Doha withdrawal
Highlights: Kenin storms past Inglis
Kenin broke in the opening game of the second set. Inglis, who was handed a wildcard for the Grand Slam, did level things up, but the American responded with her fourth break of the match at 3-3 before grinding out the remaining three games. It took Kenin until her third match point to win the contest.
Kenin will face Kaia Kanepi in the second round.
KENIN: I WASN'T FEELING 100%
'I wasn't feeling 100 per cent' - Kenin after grinding into round two
"I'm really happy to get through," she said post-match. "The first round was obviously nervous for me but I love being back here. I love this court and thank you guys so much.
"She's [Inglis] been playing well, I knew it was going to be a tough match. I played her many years ago and lost.
"I just tried to figure out what to do and I'm just happy I was able to get through the first round even though I wasn't feeling 100 per cent but it's always nice to win.
"I had good results last year. Winning seven matches is obviously tough. Everyone is playing really well in a grand slam.
"I'm not too happy with the performance but a win is a win and I am going to do everything I can to get ready for the next round."
- - -
The Australian Open is live on Eurosport. Watch every match live and ad-free on the Eurosport app and eurosport.co.uk. You can download the Eurosport app for iOS and Android now.
'I couldn't handle the pressure' - Tearful Kenin reacts to crushing loss
Defending champ Kenin stunned by in-form Kanepi in huge upset