Polish fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska has survived a mid-match scare to roll over the top of Brazilian young gun Beatriz Haddad Maia and emerge a 6-2 4-6 6-2 first-round victor in the ASB Classic.
The 2013 Classic champion appeared set to cruise to victory in Auckland on Tuesday, until the rangy Haddad Maia unleashed her A-game.
The 21-year-old South American, ranked 71st in the world, used all her physical prowess to take out the second set and earn an early break in the third.
Radwanska's experience then came to the fore.
The world No.28 and ex-Wimbledon finalist proceeded to win five straight games - including three successive breaks - to secure the victory.
She'll face American Taylor Townsend in the second round.
Radwanska's near-miss follows the demolition of defending champion Lauren Davis, who was dumped from this year's event on Tuesday afternoon.
Davis, renowned for her energy, was humiliated 6-1 6-2 by unheralded American compatriot Sachia Vickery and never looked at the races.
She managed to win just 41 per cent of her service points - including just 19 per cent of her second-serve points - and was visibly frustrated with herself.
The 24-year-old lashed out in irritation on multiple occasions.
The Florida-based Vickery will face Veronica Cepede Royg next, following the Paraguayan ace's 6-3 6-3 demolition of Spaniard Lara Arruabarrena.
The victor is then likely to play Radwanska.
"Honestly, me coming through qualifiers, maybe I had a slight advantage because I'd already played a few matches and this is her first of the year," Vickery said.
"Sometimes it's not such a bad thing, to go through qualifiers."
Italian ex-French Open finalist Sara Errani put up a solid fight but eventually fell to Czech third seed Barbora Strycova 6-4 6-7 (3-7) 6-4.
Their match went for a mammoth three hours.