STUTTGART, Germany - Defending champion Laura Siegemund made a triumphant return to her hometown, defeating Barbora Strycova 6-4, 6-3 in the opening round of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix.

Although Siegemund came into the matchup as the defending champion, she needed a wildcard to get in as she spent 10 months away from the court after suffering an ACL rupture at Nuremberg last year. She returned to training in January, and notched the statement opening win in just her third tournament back.

Read more: Insider Podcast: Laura Siegemund is back and ready to psych you out

The Stuttgart local’s victory finally gave her hometown fans something to cheer about after a tough day for the German contingent: both Germany’s top-ranked Julia Goerges and local wildcard Antonia Lottner went out in straight sets earlier in the day.

After a marathon start - it took over 30 mins to get the first three games in the books - it was Siegemund who edged ahead early on, earning a break in Strycova’s opening service game. They traded breaks later on with Siegemund adding to her 4-1 lead and Strycova grabbed it straight back. But the Czech couldn’t recover the second break as Siegemund edged through to claim the first set.

In the second, Siegemund dodged a break chance and reeled off the last five of six games to wrap up the match after just under two hours. The German outhit her opponent 25 winners to 11, despite hitting 25 unforced errors against Strycova’s 19. Her first serve was firing too, serving at 64% and blasting three aces across both sets.

Up next, she’ll take on the winner between the all-American matchup of No.7 seed Sloane Stephens and fellow wildcard CoCo Vandeweghe.

More to follow...