Samantha Stosur produced an ideal start for Australia in its Fed Cup tie against Germany by recording a 7-6, (7-1), 6-4 victory over the in-form Angelique Kerber in Stuttgart.
The US Open champion claimed victory in one hour and 41 minutes on clay to hand Australia a 1-0 lead.
World number five Stosur has tended to produce her best form of the year during the European claycourt season and Saturday's victory was a highly encouraging result following a mixed start to the year.
The 2010 French Open finalist said she had been looking forward to playing on the red dirt and was glad to hand the nation a winning start in front of a parochial crowd at the Porsche Arena.
"It is always good to get a win in straight sets," she said.
"Since making the semi-finals and the final of the French Open, I really look forward to the claycourt season.
"I was especially keen to get over for the start of it this year and I want to make the most of it as there is not that many tournaments before the start of the French (Open next month)."
Stosur had defeated Kerber in their only previous meeting at last year's US Open in three sets on the way to collecting her maiden grand slam title.
On the back of that semi-final appearance at Flushing Meadows, the world number 14 Kerber has been one of the best players on tour in 2012 with titles in Paris and Copenhagen.
Only four players have earned more ranking points on the WTA tour in 2012 than the left-handed German.
Stosur made a bright start by breaking Kerber's opening service game before a flurry of unforced errors from the Australian allowed the German to level at 4-4.
The Australian had plenty of opportunities to take out the first set before sealing it out on her sixth set point in a tiebreaker.
The Queenslander quickly broke Kerber in the second before the German broke back to even up the scores at 4-4.
However Stosur broke the left-hander's serve once more and served out for the match at her first opportunity.
The winner of the tie will play in the elite eight-nation World Group next year.
Jarmila Gajdosova will face Julia Goerges in the second singles rubber.
AAPTags: tennis, sport, germany First posted April 21, 2012 22:31:39