Belinda Bencic began reversing a recent losing run with a 4-6, 6-4, 7-5 comeback effort on Monday over 167th-ranked German qualifier Jule Niemeier at the new WTA Berlin tournament.
The Swiss fifth seed who had lost three of her last four matches this spring, began a new start on grass with victory in two and a quarter hours.
It was the first Tour-level match for Niemeier: “She’s a great opponent,” former No. 4 Bencic said.
“I knew she was capable of great tennis, and she’s playing her best tennis right now, so I was expecting a tough match.
“I tried to fight, I tried to play with what I had – I’m glad I won,”
The German challenger, a Strasbourg semi-finalist in May, got away to a 4-1 lead and wrapped up the set on her first opportunity after giving back one of her breaks.
Bencic went to work in the second, breaking in the 10th game to level at a set each and repeating that efficient scenario in the third to reach the second round.
American Madison Keys began her search for a third career grass trophy, defeating Polish qualifier Magdalena Frech, 6-3, 6-4.
Keys has already lifted grass honours at 2014 Eastbourne and 2016 Birmingham.
The 28th-ranked winner managed 19 winners against her 149th-ranked opponent in an hour and a quarter.
France’s Alizé Cornet beat Amanda Anisimova 6-3, 6-1, avenging a 2019 grass loss in Mallorca to the American teenager.
Cornet now takes on injury-prone Canadian third seed Bianca Andreescu in the second round. Second seed Elina Svitolina will open against Ekaterina Alexandrova who won an all-Russian match over wildcard Anna Kalinskaya, 6-3, 6-2.
Main photo:- Belinda Bencic winning in Berlin by WTATour.com