Sania Mirza began her grass court campaign with a 6-1, 6-2 win over Tatiana Poutchek at the Aegon Classic on Tuesday, shrugging off a persistent wrist injury that had threatened to end her career.
The 22-year-old from India hit the ball well and moved superbly. She made a rampaging start, breaking serve immediately and then winning a third game that went to eight deuces and which lasted more than a quarter of an hour.
"After what I have been through I am thankful to God that I am back," she said, referring to the multiple problems with the wrist which required surgery and prolonged rehab.
Poutchek, a qualifier from Belarus, grew increasingly frustrated as the match quickly went away from her. She twice broke back in the second set for 1-1 and 2-2 but was unable to ever take the lead.
Mirza has slipped well down in the rankings - she is now ranked No. 98 - but she said she was delighted just to be back playing on one of her favourite surfaces.
"I love playing on grass and that's what I am concentrating on," Mirza said. "I'm not too concerned about my ranking it's never easy coming back from injury, but a couple of runs here and there and the ranking will take care of itself."
Mirza next plays Anne Keothavong, the eleventh-seeded British number one who overwhelmed Sofia Arvidsson of Sweden, 6-2, 6-2.