Sixth-seeded Marcos Baghdatis came back from a set down to defeat Germany's Tobias Kamke in the first round of the Zagreb Indoors tournament, winning 6-7 6-2 6-4.
Kamke converted his second set point in the tiebreaker to win it 7-5 and take the lead, but could not keep up the pressure. The Cypriot won all 29 points on his first serve in the second and third sets.
"I did not expect him to play so good, I was a bit surprised," said Baghdatis, who won this event in 2007. "He was very aggressive... I needed time to adjust."
Robin Haase of the Netherlands also rallied to defeat Croatian wild card Antonio Veic 2-6 6-3 6-3, though there was better news for the home crowd when Ivan Dodig triumphed 6-2 7-6 (7/3) over Benjamin Becker of Germany.
Flavio Cipolla made it to the second round after Lukas Lacko of Slovakia - who reached the final in Zagreb last year - retired at 1-1 in the first set because of a back injury.
Meanwhile, reigning champion Mikhail Youzhny began his bid to retain his title with a second-round victory over Igor Sijsling, knocking out the Dutchman 6-3 6-2 in just over an hour on court.
The third-seeded Russian, who won both the singles and doubles titles at the event in 2012, was making his first outing in Zagreb this year after being given a bye in the opening round.