WTA Pattaya Open: Sabine Lisicki struggled into the second round on Monday
Top seed Sabine Lisicki edged into the second round of the Pattaya Open with a 7-5 2-6 6-4 victory over Donna Vekic.
Last Updated: 27/01/14 4:11pm
Lisicki, runner-up in Thailand 12 months ago, dropped her opening service game and struggled thereafter against the Croatian world No 109.
Vekic served for the first set at 5-4 but Lisicki managed to reel off the next three games before the 18-year-old rallied to clinch the second set as the German struggled with an apparent shoulder injury.
After an early exchange of breaks early in the decider Lisicki broke again to lead 5-3, failed to serve out the match but then broke serve again to claim victory.
"It happened during the match and as it went on it got worse and worse," said Lisicki of her shoulder. "It was really, really tough to serve at all. I couldn't serve the way I wanted and the way I usually serve.
"But the most important thing is that I fought it out. I ran down every ball. I played the finals here last year and have good memories so I really wanted to keep on playing and finish the match and not lose in the first round."
Second seeded Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova eased through by defeating China's Zhang Shuai 6-0 7-6, while Chinese eighth seed Peng Shuai beat Austrian Patricia Mayr-Achleitner 6-1 7-6.
However, Spain's Anabel Medina Garrigues suffered the first 6-0 6-0 defeat of her 16-year career as she lost to American Alison Riske in just 58 minutes.
And there was disappointment for seventh seed Bethanie Mattek-Sands, who crashed out 6-2 6-4 against Czech Karolina Pliskova.