Dubai, United Arab Emirates (SportsNetwork.com) - Italian wild card Flavia Pennetta fought off four match points in the second set before posting a first-round win at the $2.5 million Dubai Tennis Championships on Sunday.
The 10th-seeded Pennetta rallied to beat German lucky loser Julia Goerges 2-6, 7-6 (7-3), 6-4 at the Dubai Tennis Stadium.
Jelena Jankovic, seeded 12th, pulled out a 6-3, 4-6, 6-1 win over Timea Babos in just over two hours. Jankovic was the 2005 Dubai runner-up.
France's Alize Cornet outlasted Belgian Kirsten Flipkens 6-0, 6-7 (6-8), 6-3 to advance. The 15th-seeded Cornet, who lost to Venus Williams in last year's Dubai final, won the opening set in 20 minutes but needed almost three more hours to finish what turned into a laborious match.
Three-time Dubai runner-up Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia, Aussie Samantha Stosur and German Sabine Lisicki also advanced.
Kuznetsova led 4-1 in the first set when Estonia's Kaia Kanepi retired with a lower-body injury. Stosur defeated Croatian qualifier Mirjana Lucic-Baroni 6-3, 6-1, while Lisicki topped Romanian Monica Niculescu 6-3, 6-4.
Bulgaria's Tsvetana Pironkova, Swiss Belinda Bencic, Australian wild card Casey Dellacqua, Frenchwoman Caroline Garcia and Zarina Diyas of Kazakhstan rounded out the Day 1 winners.