Targetting her second consecutive singles title, top seed Sania Mirza faced stiff resistance from American Mallory Cecil before snatching a hard earned win in the first round of the ITF women's tournament in Vancouver.
Sania, edged past 410-ranked Mallory 6-4, 7-5 in her opening match of the USD 75,000 hard court event.
Sania will next face American Laura Granville, who advanced to the second round after her Japanese opponent Aiko Nakamura opted out of contest during the third set.
Nakamura was leading 4-3 in the decisive set when she opted out of contest.
Granville had lost the first set 2-6 but stretched the match to third set after winning the second 6-3.
Sania had won Lexington Challenger event recently.