EASTBOURNE, United Kingdom (AFP) – Australian Bernard Tomic has recharged his form on grass, shaking off last week's hamstring concern to post a 6-3, 6-4 first round win over Briton James Ward at the ATP-WTA Eastbourne International on Tuesday.
The victory came one week after Tomic lost in the opening round at Queen's Club to German Benjamin Becker while nursing his injury.
That's all past history now for the 64th-ranked Tomic. "This was an important win, it's a big relief to get this one," he said. "I've been happy with my tennis in training over the last three or four days.
"The hamstring is 100 percent now, If I can get some more wins like this on grass, it will really help my confidence. I think I have a chance to do well again."
Tomic's controversial father John is on site at the English south coast event. The problem parent faces a court date in Madrid in the autumn over his alleged attack of his son's former hitting partner last month in a fit of temper.
Tomic said he's put that incident behind as well. "I don't think of it any more, I'm able just to concentrate on my tennis, I just hope my hamstring holds upon, I don't feel it at all now."
Tomic is playing the Wimbledon tuneup for the first time two years after reaching a quarter-final at the All England club.
The top Australian, who captured his first career title at Sydney in January, finally broke a three-match first round losing streak dating to Madrid in May.
Women began completing their opening round at the joint event, with German third seed Angelique Kerber starting with a victory over Romanian Sorona Cirstea 6-4, 6-4.
Fifth seed Caroline Wozniacki, the former WTA number one, began her grass campaign with a win as she put out holder Tamira Paszek. The Austrian retired trailing 6-2, 2-2 with the same left thigh injury which last week forced her from Birmingham.
Paszek, who has won just one match since mid-January, reached the Wimbledon quarter-finals at the last two editions.
Taiwan's Hsieh Su Wei beat Briton Johanna Konta 6-4, 6-3 while Lucie Safarova won an all-Czech battle over Klara Zakopalova 6-4, 7-6 (7/2).