MONTREAL, Canada -- World No.2 Aryna Sabalenka kicked off her Omnium Banque Nationale campaign by defeating No.35 Petra Martic 6-3, 7-6(5) to advance to the Round of 16. 

Sabalenka will face 15th seed Liudmila Samsonova for a spot in her 10th quarterfinal of the season. 

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Playing her first match since losing in the Wimbledon semifinals to Ons Jabeur last month, Sabalenka eased through the first set before having to fight back in a 72-minute second set. Martic led 3-0 and served for the second set at 5-3. 

"Especially on this surface, I was really struggling with all her slices," Sabalenka said. "I think I need some time to adjust to this surface. I hope the next match I will play a little bit better, but overall, I'm just happy to get through this tough match."

Sabalenka responded by leaning into her firepower to break Martic at love and get back on serve. In the tiebreak, Sabalenka came from 3-1 down to finally close out the 1-hour and 58-minute match. 

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Sabalenka finished the match with 38 winners, including 13 aces, to 34 unforced errors. Martic played the cleaner match but was limited to 13 winners while hitting 17 unforced errors. 

"I would say the conditions are little bit tricky," Sabalenka said. "I was practicing in Florida and the bounce was completely different. I remember in US Open and Cincinnati the ball bounces high. Here the ball is not bouncing at all. So it's a little tricky to play here but I hope to adjust and play my best tennis."

This week in Montreal, Sabalenka has a chance to overtake Iga Swiatek for the World No.1 ranking. If Swiatek falls before the quarterfinals, Sabalenka can take over the top ranking by winning the title. 

Highlights: Kvitova d. Giorgi

In the last match of the day, 2012 champion Petra Kvitova ousted 2021 champion Camila Giorgi 6-2, 5-7, 6-0. Kvitova served for the second set but rebounded quickly to seal the win after 1:00 a.m.

Kvitova will face No.12 Belinda Bencic in the Round of 16.