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Nicole Vaidisova began her 2009 season with a win in the first round of the ASB Classic tournament in Auckland.
The Czech teenager, already a winner of six WTA singles titles, is looking to comeback from a 2008 that was marred by injury.
The sixth seed took almost two and a half hours to see off world number 71 Alla Kudryavtseva 7-6 4-6 7-5.
She squandered two match points while serving at 5-3 in the third set but converted match point number three against the serve.
Vaidisova said: "It's hard when you know you've had two match points on your serve, but I tried to hang in there, especially mentally.
"It's the first week and I don't think you pay as much attention to how (your opponent) plays as what you're trying to do. You try to do things that you practiced for two months."
It was a good day for the seeds as all four who played progressed to the second round. The fourth-seed Aleksandra Wozniak beat Slovakia's Magdalena Rybarikova 6-3 6-7 7-5.
Third-seeded Anabel Medina Garrigues, of Spain, was able to get past Italy's Mara Santangelo 7-5 6-0 and Shahar Peer, seeded number five, beat Petra Cetkovska 7-6 6-2.
Outside of the seeded players there was a match between two veterans as 34-year-old American Jill Craybas faced 38-year-old Kimiko Date Krumm of Japan.
Date Krumm, a former world number four playing in her first professional tournament outside of Japan for 12 years, crashed to a 6-3 6-4 defeat.
Annabel Croft marvelled at Novak Djokovic's unrelenting character and ability to bounce back after the Serbian ended the year by winning the ATP World Tour Finals in London.
After facing five different top-nine players in seven days and beating them all, Novak Djokovic leaves London with a legitimate claim of being 'best of the best'.
With the good always comes the bad, and this week although many celebrated success the flip side of the coin always sees some teams or individuals wallowing in the mire of defeat.
Read the thoughts and opinions of Barry Cowan with skysports.com