(photo credit: AP)
Shahar Pe'er came back from a 5-0 first set deficit to advance to the second round of the Bank of West Classic at Stanford, California late Tuesday night.
The fifth seeded Israeli, who is ranked No. 18 in the world, defeated Frenchwoman Camille Pin (84) 7-6 (5), 6-2 and booked a second round meeting with Olga Govortsova (100).
After three weeks away from the tour, Pe'er struggled to find her rhythm at the begining of the match. The 20-year-old's slow start almost cost her the first set, with Pin breaking the Israeli three straight times to open a 5-0 lead.
Pe'er finally got on the board with a break in the subsequent game and reeled off five more games in the next 20 minutes to turn the set on its head. Pin managed to hold serve in the 12 th game and sent the set into a tiebreak. The Israeli, however, took five of the first six points in the breaker and soon after clinched the set.
Pe'er surged ahead at the start of the second set, winning the first four games, and wrapped up the victory by holding serve in the eighth game of the set.
Sania Mirza, who will team-up with Pe'er in the doubles tournament, progressed to the second round after completing a 4-6, 7-5, 7-6 (5) win over Akiko Morigami.
India's top tennis player has a large fan base in the Bay Area and the group made sure their cheers, hoots and hollers were heard in her first-round match on Tuesday.
"I always love to come to a big stadium and hear them," Mirza said of her supporters. "The crowd really got me going."
Morigami played in the final at Cincinnati on Sunday and Mirza was a semifinalist there on Saturday. They both had plenty of energy for the match that lasted more than three hours.
"The whole match was a matter of a couple points either way," Mirza said. "[Morigami] is in good form and playing well. She didn't miss. I had to try and change my game plan."
Mirza, who underwent right knee surgery in March and missed 10 weeks, required a medical timeout near the end of the third set, although it was due to cramping in her left quad.
"I would never call for a trainer at 6-5 in the third set if I didn't have to," Mirza said. "I started to feel it when I served and I noticed I was sweating and very tight."
Sixth-seeded Tatiana Golovin and eighth-seeded Sybille Bammer were early first-round winners.
Golovin, who won her first career WTA Tour title at Amelia Island earlier in the year, topped qualifier Viktoriya Kutuzova 6-2, 6-2. Bammer, who also won her first tour championship at Pattaya City, beat 29th-ranked Ai Sugiyama 6-4, 6-2.
"I had to try and get into a rhythm," Golovin said. "I knew I had to get the ball in and force her to make mistakes."
The 19th-ranked Golovin, who has been slowed by a right ankle injury since April, will meet Mirza in the next round.
"I'll see how my ankle holds up," Golovin said. "I still think about it but hopefully it is a done deal."
The 22nd-ranked Bammer, who reached the fourth round of the French Open, will take 0on Meilen Tu in the second round.
In other first-round matches, Maria Kirilenko beat Victoria Azarenka 3-6, 7-5, 6-4 in her first match since injuring her ankle and qualifier Yaroslava Shvedova eliminated Julia Vakulenko 3-6, 6-3, 6-2.
AP contributed to this report