No. 5 seed Ons Jabeur of Tunisia battled back from a hefty deficit in the third set to secure a 6-3, 6-7 (2), 7-6 (2) victory over Ukrainian Anhelina Kalinina in a second-round match at the Western & Southern Open on Tuesday in Mason, Ohio.
After earning a first-round bye, Jabeur was playing in her first match since losing to Czech Marketa Vondrousova in the Wimbledon final on July 15. She took command early, recording four aces to take the opening set before Kalinina leveled the match.
Kalinina carried that momentum over to the third set, where she jumped out to a 5-1 lead. But Jabeur took the next five games, eventually forced a tiebreaker and went on to prevent the upset at the Cincinnati-area tournament.
"Very happy with the win," Jabeur said. "It was very tough, but I'm glad that I kept fighting, kept playing point by point, and I'm glad that I got the win in the end."
Jabeur finished with six aces for the match. Kalinina saved 14 of 21 break points, but she was hampered by 13 double faults.
"Some situations that I went through during this match definitely helped get me back into the hard-court season," Jabeur said. "I will try to keep going, keep playing more matches. The more matches I play, the better."
One more second-round match was scheduled for later Tuesday, as French sixth seed Caroline Garcia was set to face the United States' Sloane Stephens.
Czechs Petra Kvitova and Vondrousova and Daria Kasatkina of Russia were also able to ward off upsets on Tuesday.
Kvitova, the No. 9 seed, beat Russian Anna Blinkova 7-6 (2), 6-0, and Vondrousova, the No. 10 seed, defeated countrywoman Katerina Siniakova 7-5, 6-4. Fourteenth-seeded Kasatkina swept American Peyton Stearns 6-2, 6-1.
No. 11 seed Barbora Krejcikova of the Czech Republic wasn't as lucky, falling 6-3, 7-5 to Belarus' Victoria Azarenka. Swiss No. 13 seed Belinda Bencic was also toppled by an unseeded opponent, losing 6-4, 3-6, 2-6 to Spain's Cristina Bucsa.
Other first-round winners on Tuesday included Romanian Sorana Cirstea, Marie Bouzkova of the Czech Republic, Egypt's Mayar Sherif, Varvara Gracheva of France, Latvian Jelena Ostapenko and Italy's Martina Trevisan.
Croatians Donna Vekic and Petra Martic and Americans Ann Li and Danielle Collins also earned victories.
Two more matches were scheduled for later Tuesday — American 15th seed Madison Keys versus Belgium's Elise Mertens, and Linda Noskova of the Czech Republic versus Russian Liudmila Samsonova.
—Field Level Media