DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) Wildcard Flavia Pennetta of Italy survived four match points in the second set before pulling off a 2-6, 7-6 (3), 6-4 first round win over lucky loser Julia Goerges of Germany in the Dubai Tennis Championships on Sunday.
''I was almost crying on the court today because I was feeling so bad,'' Pennetta said.
The 10th-seeded Pennetta trailed 5-2 in the second set at Dubai Tennis Stadium but held serve and went on to close out the set with an ace in the tiebreaker.
Pennetta led 4-1 in the decider before Goerges briefly rallied.
Sabine Lisicki of Germany fired a total of 16 aces to win her first singles match in 2015, beating Monica Niculescu of Romania 6-3, 6-4.
''I obviously had three tough losses at the beginning of the year, all tough three setters, and you always want to get the first win of the year and I did finally,'' said Lisicki, who finished with three straight aces.
Former Grand Slam champions Samantha Stosur of Australia and Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia also advanced.
Stosur beat Croatian qualifier Mirjana Lucic-Baroni 6-3, 6-1 while Kuznetsova led 4-1 in the opener when Kaia Kanepi of Estonia retired with a lower back injury.