BOL, Croatia - Former champion Mandy Minella was among first round winners at the WTA 125K series event in Bol on Wednesday, as she ousted Zheng Saisai, 7-5, 6-3.
Minella, now ranked World No.289 and the winner of the first edition of the tournament in 2016, won the last four games of the opening set against the World No.129, and held off a late charge from China's No.6 in the second set.
Luxembourg's No.1 lost in the first round of the French Open last week to Greece's Maria Sakkari, her first appearance at a Grand Slam since giving birth to daughter Emma Lina in October.
The win for Minella sets up a second round meeting against No.8 seed Mariana Duque-Mariño of Colombia, who needed three sets to defeat Czech Tereza Martincova, 2-6, 6-3, 6-2.
In addition to Minella's victory, there was also an opening round win for last year's finalist Alexandra Cadantu of Romania, who defeated Belgian Ysalina Bonaventure, 6-2, 6-0.
While there was seeded success for Duque-Mariño and No.2 seed Magda Linette - a 6-4, 7-6(0) winner over former US Open junior runner-up Anhelina Kalinina on Tuesday - other seeded counterparts did not fare as well.
A day after top seed Kateryna Kozlova was bundled out in the opening round by Canada's Carol Zhao, No.3 seed Ajla Tomljanovic and No.6 seed Wang Yafan also suffered defeats at the first hurdle.
Croatian-born Aussie Tomljanovic was knocked out by Slovenia's Tamara Zidansek, 6-3, 6-1, while Wang was sent out in over three hours by Spain's Sara Sorribes Tormo, 3-6, 6-4, 7-6(5).
Local interest was nonetheless piqued by an emphatic opener by wildcard Tena Lukas, who needed just 52 minutes to defeat Estrella Cabeza Candela, 6-1, 6-0.