Grigor Dimitrov began his latest quest for glory at the Brisbane International with a hard-fought victory over fifth seed Gilles Simon.
The Bulgarian – a beaten finalist in 2013 and semi-finalist 12 months ago – wasted no time in making waves in the opening tournament of 2016, sending his seeded opponent packing 6-3 7-6 (12-10) win.
Dimitrov edged a tight affair against the world number 15 with the only break of the opening set in the fourth game, having saved three of his own in the previous game.
After a break apiece at the start of the second, both players missed chances to move ahead, but in the tie-break it was Dimitrov – who served eight aces in the match – who prevailed on his sixth match point.
German qualifier Tobias Kamke is also through to round two after a straight-sets triumph over Benjamin Mitchell, the world number 233 winning 6-2 6-4 to set up a clash with top seed Roger Federer.
Monday also saw victories for Denis Kudla and Chung Hyeon over John-Patrick Smith and Sam Groth respectively, Kudla coming from behind to seal his progress 4-6 6-3 6-2.
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