Barbora Krejcikova, the only women's Grand Slam winner playing in the day session to open the Australian Open, posted a 2-6, 6-4, 6-3 victory over wild card Mai Hontama at Margaret Court Arena on Sunday.

Krejcikova, the No. 9 seed, was quickly in trouble against Hontama, who was playing her first main-draw match at Melbourne Park. After dropping the first set, Krejcikova, the 2021 French Open champion, needed plenty of sideline coaching and a medical timeout for a foot injury before rallying for the tough victory.

"It was a really difficult match," Krejcikova said. "She was playing really well and it was tough, but I always believed that I could get back into it.

"I'm really happy I won. I think first rounds are difficult in general."

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Defending women's champion Aryna Sabalenka didn't waste much time in the night session until right near the end, ousting 18-year-old Ella Seidel 6-0, 6-1 in 53 minutes on her seventh match point.

"I'm super happy to be back. The last time I was here, I had incredible memories, unforgettable memories. I'm so grateful to feel the support and the atmosphere," Sabalenka said.

No. 8 seed Maria Sakkari admitted her relief after she beat Nao Hibino of Japan 6-4, 6-1 for her first Grand Slam win since last year's Australian Open.

"I lost three first rounds in my last three Grand Slams," Sakkari said. "For me, it was a very difficult match today emotionally. I'm happy I managed to do the job right and play a good second set."

Leylah Fernandez, still revered for her fairy-tale run to the final of the 2021 US Open, was another player who made a hot start by breaking her opponent to love in the first game on John Cain Arena. Sara Bejlek fought her way back into the contest, however, and Fernandez, the women's 32nd seed, had to dig deep to run out a 7-6 (5), 6-2 winner.

Elsewhere, Lucia Bronzetti lost 3-6, 7-5, 6-3 to Lesia Tsurenko. And Russian qualifier Maria Timofeeva ousted veteran Frenchwoman Alize Cornet 6-2, 6-4. Cornet was appearing in her 68th consecutive Grand Slam event, a women's record.

Timofeeva's next opponent will be Caroline Wozniacki, who advanced to the second round in her first Australian Open since becoming a mother when 20th-seeded Magda Linette retired in the second set of their Sunday night match.

Wozniacki was leading 6-2, 2-0 on Margaret Court Arena when Linette, a 2023 semifinalist, was treated by the trainer and decided she could not continue.

Wozniacki won the 2018 Australian Open for her breakthrough major title. She retired in 2020 and had two children before returning to the tour last year in time for the US Open.

Two 16-year-old players advanced to the second round: Brenda Fruhvirtova recorded her first Grand Slam win on a far-flung Court 17, overcoming Ana Bogdan 2-6, 6-4, 6-3 ahead of a matchup with Sabalenka, and Alina Korneeva -- the Australian Open junior champion last year -- rallied to beat Sara Sorribes Tormo 4-6, 6-3, 6-2.

"For sure it will be a great experience," Fruhvirtova said. "Hopefully I will get some big court or a bigger one than today. I'm really looking forward!"

Also, Amanda Anisimova, 22, who left the tour in May citing burnout and mental health, downed No. 13 Liudmila Samsonova 6-3, 6-4. And Kamilla Rakhimova, ranked No. 93 in the world, took the honor of being the first player to advance to Round 2, defeating Emina Bektas 6-4, 6-4 in windy conditions on Court 6.

Information from The Associated Press and Reuters was used in this report.