Anna Chakvetadze beat Jill Craybas of the United States 7-6 (6), 7-5 in the opening round of the J&S Cup on Monday.
The sixth-seeded Russian was broken when serving for the first set at 5-4.
With Craybas serving at 6-6 in the tiebreaker, Chakvetadze hit a backhand crosscourt winner to earn her third set point. Craybas then netted a backhand to give 20-year-old Chakvetadze the set.
The players traded breaks early in the second set.
Despite inconsistent play, Craybas had a chance to force a third set, serving at 5-4. But Chakvetadze hit a deep backhand to force an error from the American to lead 40-30, then knocked a forehand into open court for the break to level at 5-5.
The Russian held serve to love, then earned at match point when a backhand by Craybas sailed long.
Also Monday, Mara Santangelo of Italy beat Severine Bremond of France 6-2, 6-3.
Later Monday, fifth-seeded Nadia Petrova of Russia plays Katarzyna Piter of Poland, and Katarina Srebotnik of Slovenia faces Alona Bondarenko of Ukraine.