Nick Kyrgios cut it close as his grass-court shoes arrived off his flight only an hour before his opening match at Stuttgart, with the Australian still managing a comfortable 7-6(3), 6-3 defeat of Jiri Lehecka.
Kyrgios, who had to win a Monday doubles match with Alexander Bublik while wearing inappropriate clay shoes, lost just four points on serve in the second set of his singles as he played his first ATP match of any kind since last April.
The 27-year-old last competed in a Houston green clay semi-final, then sat out the entire European dirt season.
Kyrgios had no problem with his just-in-time preparation for his summer grass debut at an event where he reached the semi-finals four years ago.
“Today was the first time I wore grass-court shoes, I didn’t have the best preparation for here. I did hit on grass back in Australia, but there is nothing like a match.
“I’ve never needed match play to perform, I know what I have to do to win.”
Kyrgios is keeping it low-key and refuses to look more than a match ahead.
“Nothing ever changes in this sport. I’ve never needed matches to win.
“Still, it’s good to get a win, I needed it.
“I’m not a goal-setter, I just try to be positive, enjoy myself and have fun.
“I’ don’t think of next week or of Wimbledon. I’m here and I’m not worrying. I’m enjoying my time.”