Victoria Azarenka looks back to her best in the Brisbane International to set up a second-round showdown against top seed Simona Halep.
Azarenka, a former world number one and two-time Australian Open champion, – who has been plagued by injuries in the last two years and has dropped to 22 in the rankings – breezed past Russian Elena Vesnina 6-2 6-0.
Playing for the first time since the Wuhan Open in September, the Belarusian looked in excellent form against the tricky Vesnina, breaking her six times to book her place in the second round.
She will have a much sterner test against former French Open finalist Halep, who had a first-round bye.
Other ties saw Italy’s Roberto Vinci, who ended Serena Williams’s bid for a calendar grand slam in the US Open semi-finals last year, beat former world No 1 Jelena Jankovic 3-6 6-2 6-4.
Russian Maria Sharapova is the tournament’s biggest draw card and she will kick off her campaign on Tuesday against compatriot Ekaterina Makarova.