VICTORIA PARK, Hong Kong - Samantha Stosur came through three sets to take her place in the second round of the Prudential Hong Kong Tennis Open, beating Lee Ya-Hsuan 6-3, 4-6, 6-1.
The Australian, playing just her sixth match back after recovering from a hand injury, suffered an early break against the World No.303 before running off five successive games to take the first set, sealing it with a hat-trick of aces.
Lee found her form again in the second set, storming back from an early deficit to level the match but an early break from Stosur in the decider set her on the way through to round two, winning in just under two hours.
"I think I played really well, I was really happy with the third set, the way I finished that off really quickly," Stosur said. "She came out swinging and played pretty well for most of the match, had nothing to lose. Once I got that lead in the third set I was able to keep it, unlike that second set."
Stosur added that she feels "pretty much 100%" after returning following a hand injury in June, but still has a little bit of progress to make.
"I didn't hit a ball for about eight weeks, which is the longest time I can ever remember not playing for," Stosur said of her time away from the courts. "I feel like it's pretty much 100% now. Even when I first started in Tokyo and Ghangzhou I was still really tentative, trying to hit my forehand and having to schedule more days off then I normally would, but now I can go out and not think about it. I still feel there is a little bit of work to do to have that full confidence in hitting my forehand especially. It's getting there, I can only keep playing.
"The longer it takes to get back the harder it is, to try and have five tournaments before the end of the year was important."
Elsewhere on Monday, fellow Australian Lizette Cabrera overcame Shuko Aoyama 7-5, 6-3 and eighth seed Zhang Shuai dispatched Kurumi Nara 6-0, 6-0 in just 48 minutes.
Nicole Gibbs beat Greek qualifier Valenini Grammatikopoulou 4-6, 6-2, 7-5 to set up a potential second-round meeting with top seed Elina Svitolina, while another American to progress was Shelby Rogers, who beat Jang Su-Jeong 6-4, 6-4.