Doha, February 13: The renewal of Garbine Muguruza's coaching relationship with Conchita Martinez got off to a winning start at the Qatar Open on Tuesday, although she took eight match points to complete a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Duan Ying-Ying.
Martinez was part of Muguruza's team when she won Wimbledon last year, with regular coach Sam Sumyk absent from the slam as his wife was expecting their first child.
Her involvement ended after that victory at the All England Club but she has since been recruited to work alongside Sumyk for an unspecified period, beginning in Doha.
While the win never truly looked in doubt for Muguruza, she was made to fight hard for her place in the third round as Duan rallied late in the second set.
Duan gave Muguruza an early scare with a break of serve in the opening game, but the Spaniard responded by storming to the next four to open up a 4-1 lead.
Muguruza survived another break point at 4-2 up as she held on for the set and looked on course for a comfortable victory after racing into a 5-1 lead in the second.
However, Duan won three consecutive games - including staving off five break points with Muguruza 5-3 in front - before the two-time grand slam champion finally wrapped up the win at the eighth time of asking.
"It doesn't matter how many match points I had... I won!" Muguruza said after the match.
.@GarbiMuguruza finally clinches the match point on the 8th try!
She is first through to @QatarTennis third round!
Beats Duan 6-3, 6-4! pic.twitter.com/erGm7I2Lid— WTA (@WTA) February 13, 2018