Svetlana Kuznetsova survives scare to make winning return in Lugano

Svetlana Kuznetsova PA

Former world number two Svetlana Kuznetsova made a successful return in Lugano, but Ekaterina Alexandrova made her work for it.

Kuznetsova has been missing from the WTA since September due to a knee injury, and appeared to be heading to defeat at the hands of the sixth seed.

However, she was able to rally after losing the opening set and battled to a 3-6, 6-2, 7-6(8-6) success.

The Russian will now face either Timea Bacsinszky or Tamara Korpatch in the second round.

Elsewhere, fourth seed Alison Van Uytvanck recovered from a second-set bagel to advance against Tereza Smitkova 6-2, 0-6, 6-4.

Top seed Belinda Bencic is set to get her campaign underway on Tuesday when she faces Antonia Lottner.

Second-seed Carla Suarez Navarro faces Polona Hercog, and Viktoria Kuzmova is in action against Giulia Gatto-Monticone.

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