Former world number one Amelie Mauresmo finally found some form to beat Anabel Medina Garrigues and reach the second round of the Dubai Championships.
Mauresmo has struggled since losing at Wimbledon in 2007
But Mauresmo, 28, who had threatened to quit tennis if her recent poor results did not improve, had to fight to beat the Spanish qualifier 7-6 (7-5) 6-2.
Elsewhere, Anna Chakvetadze saw off in-form Polish teenager Agnieszka Radwanska 6-2 2-6 6-4 to progress.
And Francesca Schiavone beat seventh seed Marion Bartoli 6-1 6-7 (7-5) 6-1.
Chakvetadze's win was her first since she won the Paris Indoors title at the start of February.
The Russian world number six, who plays compatriot Dinara Safina next, said: "I knew I had a tough opponent in Agnieszka here.
"She played really well, but I should have won in two sets because I let go many chances to break her in the second.
"But I am happy to have played a tough opening round. I am already feeling a lot better about my game."