Simona Halep celebrates her victory against Estonia's Kaia Kanepi. Photograph:( AFP )
Simona Halep came from behind to defeat Kaia Kanepi 6-7 (2/7), 6-4, 6-2.
World number one Simona Halep came from behind to defeat Kaia Kanepi of Estonia.
The Romanian was one set down and had to dig deep against Kanepi, who defeated her in last year's US Open first round, for a 6-7 (2/7), 6-4, 6-2 victory.
The 27-year-old was a finalist at Melbourne Park last year and will be looking for a major improvement to go deep in this year's tournament after such a shaky start.
Halep was without a coach and on a five-match losing streak coming into the year's first Grand Slam and had to make sure she kept her unforced errors to a minimum.
She broke Kanepi twice in the final set and sealed the match when her opponent sent a forehand wide for her 62nd unforced error. Halep will next play American Sofia Kenin, who earlier beat Russian qualifier Veronika Kudermetova 6-3, 3-6, 7-5.