In her last seven encounters with Medina Garrigues, Zakopalova had won just three sets, and her sluggish start did little to suggest she would be adding to this total in the French capital.
Medina Garrigues soon turned her break advantage into a one set lead, and with the No.8 seed struggling to find her range, an upset looked on the cards. Gradually, though, Zakopalova began to play herself into the contest, before producing her best tennis of the match when it mattered most.
Trailing 5-4 and serving to stay in the match, she won 12 of the next 14 points to turn not just the set, but also the match, in her favor. A break in the first game of the decider further compounded Medina Garrigues' misery as Zakopalova rattled towards the finishing line, eventually triumphing, 26 75 60.
"She started very well. I was totally out of rhythm and I told myself to fight every point because everything can change really fast," Zakopalova said. "I won the second set 75, and in the third set I really found my rhythm and played really well."
After starting the year with a runner-up finish in Hobart, Barthel fell in the first round of the Australian Open, and appeared to have carried this disappointment into the early stages of her encounter with Radwanska.
Yet despite breaking serve three times, Radwanska failed to close out the first set and was made to pay for her profligacy when Barthel nicked it on a tie-break en route to a 76(1) 60 win.
"It was a tough first set and she played really well," Barthel said. "She was serving for the set at 6-5 and I think it was 30-0. At that stage I won a lot of points in a row; I started playing really good shots, stepping into the court, not making too many unforced errors and playing well when I had to.
"I won the first set tie-break 7-1 and after that I was just more comfortable on the court and I won the second set quite easily."
McHale's match followed a similar pattern, as she survived early pressure from Parmentier before running out a 64 61 winner to book a second round meeting with No.3 seed Marion Bartoli.