Sania Mirza made a winning start to the new season, getting the better of Swiss Stefanie Voegele in a hard-fought first round encounter of the $220,000 ASB Classic WTA tournament here on Tuesday.

The 57th ranked Indian came from behind to beat her opponent, placed 18 places below her in the ranking chart, 5-7 6-1 7-5 in opening round of the hard court event.

Sania has a tough pre-quarterfinal opponent in fourth seed and world number 17 Francesca Schiavone of Italy, who beat French Stephanie Cohen-Aloro 6-2 6-3 in her first round match.

Sania has never beaten Schiavone in the three matches they have played against each other.

The Indian tennis ace has paired up with Spaniard Virginia Ruano Pascual for the doubles competition here, where they are seeded second.

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