Thanasi Kokkinakis double-faulted on a match point but hung on to get another chance as he closed out a winning debut in Dubai on Monday.
The 101st ranked Australian who won a Challenger in Bahrain this month, is set to move into the Top 100 as a result of his 6-4, 7-6 (9) defeat of French qualifying lucky loser Quentin Halys.
Kokkinakis needed nearly two hours on court to secure his win. The Aussie ended with 16 aces and saved all three break points he faced.
He will await a second-round opponent at the Aviation Club from Brit Dan Evans and Borna Coric.