Former world number one Andy Murray knocked out fifth seed Hubert Hurkacz 6-4, 6-7 (6/8), 6-3 in the opening round in Vienna on Monday.
Murray had lost twice to Wimbledon semi-finalist Hurkacz this year but broke his losing run against the Pole despite squandering a match point in the second set tie-break.
The three-time Grand Slam champion, whose ranking has tumbled to 156 after a series of injuries, will meet teenage Spanish star Carlos Alcaraz in the second round of a tournament he won in 2014 and 2016.
"It was a good match that could have gone either way," said Murray.
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"I was disappointed to drop serve in the opening game of the third, but thankfully I was able to get the break back in the next game and from there I probably deserved to get over the line. It was a good win in tough circumstances."
Defeat for Hurkacz delivered a big blow to his hopes of reaching the season-ending ATP Finals. He currently occupies the final qualifying spot but could be overtaken this week by Antwerp champion Jannik Sinner.