Marina Erakovic has pulled off one of the biggest wins of her career by beating world No13 Sabine Lisicki 7-6 4-6 6-3 in the first round of the Italian Open.

New Zealander Erakovic took two hours 43 minutes to beat Lisicki at the Foro Italico in Rome, a clay surface.

"It was a pretty difficult match, I felt that neither of us played that great, the first round is always difficult and the conditions were quite windy, swirly and the clay was coming off the court,'' Erakovic said.

"So it was very tricky but I felt as though I fought well, I tried to play my game, run around as many backhands and hit forehands as I could and my serve was average.


"I'm glad I got the win today and hopefully tomorrow I can keep improving.''

In the second round Erakovic will face Chanelle Scheepers from South Africa for the first time.

Erakovic started shakily against Lisicki, quickly going down 2-0, but battled back to take the first set.

In the second set she was 4-0 down but mounted another comeback before Lisicki, a semifinalist at Wimbledon last year, got another break and held serve to square the match.

"In the past Sabine and I have always had tight matches and I have never beat her on the professional tour,'' said Erakovic, ranked 41st in the world.