Mallorca, June 19: Wimbledon champion Angelique Kerber battled through her opening match at the Mallorca Open to set up a clash with Maria Sharapova.
Kerber was worked hard by Ysaline Bonaventure and let a lead slip in the second set before coming from behind in the third, finally winning 7-5 4-6 6-2.
It was not an entirely convincing return to the grass courts and Kerber will face another tough test against Sharapova in the next round.
The five-time grand slam champion was playing for the first time since January when she took on Viktoria Kuzmova.
Sharapova also found the first set tough work but then took complete control, securing a comprehensive 7-6 (10-8) 6-0 triumph.
Meanwhile, Anastasija Sevastova, a finalist in Mallorca in each of the tournament's three years, winning in 2017, advanced with relative ease.
She saw off Varvara Lepchenko in straight sets.
Caroline Garcia built on her Nottingham Open title last week by rallying past Victoria Azarenka 1-6 6-4 7-5, while Amanda Anisimova - the teenage French Open semi-finalist - continued her good form with a win.
Alize Cornet, Sam Stosur, Ons Jabeur, Paula Badosa and Shelby Rogers all also won.