Ostapenko survives battling Schiavone test

She will next meet China's Duan Yingying who overcame Colombia's Mariana Duque -Marino in straight sets.

Ostapenko took the match 6-1, 6-4 in one hour and 14 minutes.   -  AFP

French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko survived a second-set scare from corset-wearing Italian veteran Francesca Schiavone to get her Australian Open campaign off to winning start on Monday.

World number seven Ostapenko raced through the first set on Rod Laver Arena against the 2010 Roland Garros winner 6-1.

But she found herself 4-1 down in the second to the world number 93 who was bizarrely wearing a weightlifter-style back brace over her tennis top.

The big-hitting Latvian soon found her range again and hit back with two breaks of the Schiavone serve, the second achieved with a trademark forehand winner.

Ostapenko then served out with no further alarms to take the match 6-1, 6-4 in one hour and 14 minutes.

"Second set I was missing a little bit but I managed to get through," said Ostapenko, who was recording her maiden match victory of 2018 having lost in the first rounds at both the Shenzhen and Sydney warm-up events.

She will next meet China's Duan Yingying who overcame Colombia's Mariana Duque -Marino in straight sets.