Wickmayer, the world's number 19, bears the Belgian hopes in the ladies' event after Kim Clijsters announced she would have to skip the tournament. Clijsters sustained a new foot injury in Rosmalen last week.
Despite nursing some back problems, Wickmayer did not disappoint the Belgian fans. She faced tough opposition from America's Varvara Lepchenko (WTA-85) in the opening set especially, but won some crucial points to gain confidence.
"I had to adapt to her type of play", Wickmayer told the VRT. "She is a left-handed player and this is not always easy. But I managed to fight myself into the match again once I found the right tactics."
Lepchenko fell in the second set (photo) and had to take a long injury break. "I had the feeling that she was still very agile on the court afterwards. I tried to stay focused."
Wickmayer next faces Anna Tatisjvili of Georgia, the world's number 118.
Ruben Bemelmans almost stuns his opponent
In the men's event, Belgium's qualifier Ruben Bemelmans almost stunned France's Julien Benneteau, the world's number 77. Bemelmans, who is 86 places behind Benneteau on the ATP world rankings, took his opponent to five sets.
23-year-old Bemelmans, a player from Maasmechelen in Limburg province, succumbed after 5 sets: 6-4, 6-2, 3-6, 4-6 and 6-1 after 2 hours and 40 minutes of play.