Belinda Bencic fought through on her sixth match point to hand former US Open finalist Leylah Fernandez a 7-5, 6-7(10), 6-3 loss in Guadalajara, staying in the chase for a spot in the season finals in Texas.
Swiss Bencic advanced to the second round as she avenged defeat by the Canadian this season at Roland Garros, emphasising the point with 30 winners in the two-and-three-quarter-hour battle.
Her magic spot for the eight-player Finals which begins October 31 in Fort Worth, would be the semi-finals this week, five-year-end places remain undecided.
“I’m happy I learned something from the last time I lost, every match with Leylah is very close,” the winner said.
“She’s playing very well and it’s tough to find the rhythm against her.”
Along with her mass of winners, Bencic committed 43 unforced errors, including 13 double faults. Fernandez ended with 25 winners, 42 unforced errors.
“I felt like I had a good game plan but it was tough to execute it with the conditions,” Bencic said.
“I’m happy for the first match that I’m through. It doesn’t have to be pretty.”
The Swiss will continue her Finals quest in the second round against Sloane Stephens.