NEW HAVEN, CT, USA - It was more complicated than Petra Kvitova would have liked, but the three-time Connecticut Open champion came back from a set down to advance against Louisa Chirico, 1-6, 6-1, 6-3.
"Luckily I turned it around, it was a difficult match for my first round here after a year," Kvitova said afterwards.
"I didn't play Cincinnati and I got sick in Rio, so it was a little bit difficult for me but I'm glad I was able to win it. I really had to fight for every point at the end."
Chirico, an American qualifier, brought all of the powerful game that saw her make a breakthrough run to reach the semifinals in Madrid earlier this year. Kvitova was struggling to find her timing, and despite earning the first break of the match, she quickly found herself being outhit as Chirico rattled off six straight games to take the opening set.
The defending champion wasn't too rattled though, as three-set comebacks are what she's built her "P3tra" reputation on.
"I think that tennis now is very open, and with all the experience I have already, losing the first set doesn't mean anything to me," Kvitova said. "Even with the 6-1, which was not easy."
The Czech's lefty forehand found its marks and Kvitova broke twice to reel off five straight games of her own and take the second set to restore scoreboard parity, before going on to take the third set.
She needed an hour and thirty-four minutes to complete the turnaround and advance to the second round, improving her impressive Connecticut Open record to 17-2 overall.
Her victory sets up a second-round clash against Eugenie Bouchard, who had a much smoother time against German qualifier Annika Beck. The Canadian dictated play throughout, dragging Beck from line to line and keeping her on the run in the quick 6-2, 6-1 win.
It was the opposite story for four-time Connecticut Open champion Caroline Wozniacki, who took a wildcard into the tournament in a bid to rehab her injury-laden 2016 season. It was her first time playing against Jelena Ostapenko, and the 19-year-old youngster ousted her 7-5, 6-2 on her New Haven debut.
"It wasn't my best match, but as well you just have to go with it and give her credit where credit is due," Wozniacki said.
"I think I just haven't played very much, and just a little bit unlucky as well."