Ashleigh Barty battles back against Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova to secure first singles' win of 2020 in Adelaide International
Ashleigh Barty fought back from a set down to beat Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 4-6 6-3 7-5 and secure her first singles win of the year at the Adelaide International.
The Australian world No 1 was eliminated in her opening match of the Brisbane International against Jennifer Brady last week.
And after receiving a bye into the second round, the first set of her tournament saw her in trouble once more as the Russian underdog broke midway through to leave Barty on the back foot.
But the 23-year-old recovered as she began to show glimpses of the form which took her to a maiden Grand Slam victory at Roland Garros last year.
Barty broke Pavlyuchenkova twice to force the match to a decider as the home favourite began to get on top.
But the final set produced more drama as a hectic decider led to five breaks of serve in seven games.
Yet despite for the most part failing to shine in a tight contest, Barty pulled through to move into the second round in Adelaide.
She will now face either Arina Ivanovna Rodionova or Markéta Vondroušová in the quarter-finals.
Elsewhere in Adelaide, another Australian player, Ajla Tomljanovic, saved two set points to secure a 7-6 (4) 6-2 win over qualifier Yulia Putintseva.
At 5-4 in the first set, the Russian looked to be closing in on an unlikely lead as she twice came within a shot of, at the very least, sending the match to a full-length three sets.
But she spurned the opportunity both times as Tomljanovic showed composure to clinch a tie-break and comfortably win the second set to set up a last eight clash with Wimbledon champion Simona Halep.