Jelena Ostapenko, seeded fifth, came out on top of a rollercoaster first round at the Abu Dhabi Open, edging American player Danielle Collins 7-5, 1-6, 7-5 in 2 hours and 18 minutes.
Ostapenko, who collected her fifth and most recent title in Dubai last February, is now on a six-match winning streak on Emirati soil. It was her second win in as many meetings at the pro level against Collins; -- the Latvian also triumphed 7-6(1), 6-3 in the 2018 Miami semifinals.
No.12-ranked Ostapenko is fresh off a run to the Australian Open quarterfinals last month and will face either Zheng Qinwen or qualifier Rebecca Marino in the second round.
"Danielle is a great player, and it's always a tough match against her because she plays really well and she's such a fighter. The match is never over until we shake hands.
I'm really glad that, even though in some games I didn't play my best, I was fighting and I managed to win the match. These kinds of matches give confidence," Ostapenko was quoted by WTA.
In other singles matches on Monday, Marta Kostyuk of Ukraine defeated Sorana Cristea of Romania 6-2, 1-6, 6-2; Elise Mertens of Belgium outplayed Martina Trevisan of Italy 6-0, 6-2 while Anett Kontaveit of Estonia prevailed over Shuai Zhang of China 4-6, 7-6(4), 6-4.