BUDAPEST, Hungary - After losing the first six games of the match and being two games away from defeat in the second set, Germany's Sabine Lisicki rallied for a stunning 0-6, 6-4, 6-3 victory over Pauline Parmentier as first-round action got underway at the Hungarian Ladies' Open on Monday.
Lisicki led 3-1 in the second set before the Frenchwoman won three games in a row to lead by a set and a break herself, and held a 30-0 lead on serve as she looked to push her advantage to 5-3.
However, the former Wimbledon finalist, returning from offseason knee surgery and competing in just her third tournament since Novemeber, rallied to win three games in a row to pull out the second set, and won the last four games of the match to secure a second-round with the winner of the match between No.4 seed Sorana Cirstea and lucky loser Viktoria Kuzmova.
"It's always tough to play the first match, as I entered very late into this tournament and arrive only yesterday...because my flight got cancelled," Lisicki said after the match. "I'm very happy. I was sleeping in the first set, I think, and it took me a little bit to get into the match.
"I'm just happy with every win after having knee surgery. I'm fighting my way back so any match will help to move forward."
Earlier in the day, Lisicki compatriot Mona Barthel survived a similarly up-and-down affair, as she won the last six games of the match in style after splitting two tight sets with Ukrainian Kateryna Kozlova, 7-6(3), 5-7, 6-0 in two hours, 15 minutes.
However, teenager Antonia Lottner was unable to join her two elder compatriots in the second round, as the wildcard fell to Petra Martic, 6-4, 6-2.
The final main draw match of Monday's order of play saw Belgian Alison van Uytvanck take on France's Oceane Dodin.
Former US Open finalist Roberta Vinci led six players who punched their main-draw tickets with wins in the final round of qualifying, as she defeated No.5 Vera Lapko, 6-1, 6-7(6), 6-3.
"It was a tough match, I was 6-1, 2-1 up with a break and she started to play better, especially on serve. I had one match point in the tiebreak in the second set, but in the end, I won a great match," Vinci said. "She's a young player, a great player - she plays so strong and so flat, and I hope she has a good future because she's a great player.
"I hope to play some more matches, and I hope to play the tennis that I played today and also yesterday because I played a good game."
Vinci will be joined in the main draw by Magdalena Frech, Jana Cepelova, Ysaline Bonaventure, Georgina Garcia Perez and Arina Rodionova.
Bonaventure scored the most dramatic win of the afternoon, coming from a set down and saving two match points to defeat Kuzmova, 6-7(8), 7-6(4), 6-3 to advance.
Nonetheless, Kuzmova earned her spot as a lucky loser when Kristyna Pliskova was forced to withdraw from the event with the flu.