Ash Barty posts comeback win in WTA Adelaide

For world No.1 Ashleigh Barty, it was a dog's breakfast: scrappy but ultimately fulfilling.

Barty admits she never rose to great heights during Tuesday's comeback win against Russia's Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova at the Adelaide International WTA tournament.

But the Australian found beauty in winning ugly in her 4-6 6-3 7-5 victory at Memorial Drive in her first appearance of the tournament.

"Those tough wins, those wins when you're not necessarily playing your best tennis, I think they always make you feel pretty good deep down, knowing that you can scrap out of it and get out of it," Barty said.

The top seed, gifted a first-round bye, initially struggled in the second-round fixture against the world No.31 Pavlyuchenkova.

Barty initially battled for timing and fluency - similar to last week when a first-round loser to American world No.53 Jennifer Brady in her first outing of the summer at the Brisbane International.

After dropping the first set in Adelaide, Barty discovered increasing touch ahead of the Australian Open from next Monday in Melbourne.

"It was just a work in progress," she said.

"It was just me finding the middle of the racquet, finding my groove ... obviously it's natural to find your rhythm and find your groove the more matches you play."

Barty hit five of her 11 aces in the second set and, in the third, raced to a 5-2 lead aided by a series of unforced errors from the Russian.

But Pavlyuchenkova, just when appearing down for the count, rallied to level at 5-5 before Barty gained a break of serve and then closed out the match.

"Credit to Anastasia, when her back was against the wall at 5-2, she came out swinging ... she came up with the goods," Barty said.

Barty will next play either Australian qualifier Arina Rodionova or Czech eighth seed Marketa Vondrousova in a Thursday quarter-final.

Rodionova on Tuesday caused a boilover with an emphatic trouncing of American Sloane Stephens.

World No. 201 Rodionova triumphed 6-2 6-2 over Stephens, the 2017 US Open champion now ranked 25 in the world.

The victory was among the biggest in the career of the 30-year-old Rodionova, who endured two three-set wins in qualifying to reach the main draw.

"I was pretty relaxed today," Rodionova said.

"From winning those two really tough matches in qualifying, I feel like I deserve to be in the main draw."

Vondrousova on Tuesday cruised to a 6-3 6-0 win over German Tatjana Maria.

And Australian wildcard Priscilla Hon's first-round match ended in a loss to German Julia Goerges, who prevailed 7-6 (7-5) 6-3.