Marina Erakovic has won through to the second round of the Texas Open in Dallas by beating Britain's Anne Keothavong in a three-set marathon.
Erakovic won the match 6-1 5-7 7-6, with the New Zealander taking the third set tie breaker 11-9 after 2 hours 51 minutes of gruelling tennis.
This was Erakovic's first match back after her disappointing 6-2 6-1 first round exit at the Olympics to Aleksandra Wozniak.
There was little indication that Erakovic's win over Keothavong would be such an epic battle when she wrapped up the first set so comfortably, but there was a marked improvement from her opponent in the second set.
Keothavong got an early break in the third set and it looked like another disappointing defeat for Erakovic, but eventually the Kiwi was able to get the break back and send the match into a tiebreak.
There was little to separate the two players in the tiebreak, but Erakovic ultimately came out on top and will play her second round match against the South African seventh seed Channelle Scheepers, who had a comfortable 6-0 6-2 first round win over Barbora Zahlavova Strycova from the Czech Republic.
In doubles, Erakovic will team up with another Brit in Heather Watson, with whom she won the Stanford doubles title last month.
They play the American combination of Elizabeth Lumpking and Yasmin Schnack later today.
Erakovic is using the tournament as a warm-up for the US Open which starts later this month.
- © Fairfax NZ News