World no1 Iga Swiatek began her quest for the first Australian Open with a challenging win over Germany’s Jule Niemeier at Rod Laver Arena.

The last year’s semifinalist was made to work for her 6-4, 7-5 win by the German who had also taken the eventual winner to three sets at last year’s US Open.

Both Swiatek and Niemeier came out firing to start their Australian Open duel.

The German pressured Swiatek’s serve throughout the opening set, but the Pole’s clutch serves and backhand came through on important junctures. Swiatek withstood the pressure and saved the two break points she faced and then pounced at her first chance to break and win the opening set.

Niemeier launched her comeback bid by breaking Swiatek in the very first game of the second set eventually building a 3-1 lead.

But Swiatek once again came up clutch to dig out of a deuce game to close the gap to 3-2.

Niemeier was broken when serving to take the game into the decider in Swiatek’s best return game of the match to level the score at 5-5 before the three-time grand slam winner easily secured the win during the 1 hour and 59-minute contest.

Swiatek will now face Camila Osorio in the second round as the no1 seed looks to add Australian Open to her expanding trophy case.