Second-seeded Milos Raonic was made to work for a 6-7 (5), 6-1, 7-5 victory over qualifier Andrey Kuznetsov and a place in the second round of the World Tennis Tournament on Tuesday.
Coming off an Australian Open quarterfinals loss, Raonic hit 19 aces to rally past the 23-year-old Russian in a contest lasting nearly two hours. Raonic got off to a sluggish start but managed to claw his way back into the match with his big serve.
The sixth-ranked Canadian, who will take on Simone Bolelli in the next round, lost only six points on his first serve.
Earlier, eighth-seeded Gilles Simon defeated Joao Sousa 5-7, 6-3, 6-2 and Vasek Pospisil converted three of his four break points in a 6-4, 6-2 victory over Philip Kohlschreiber.