NANCHANG, China (AP) — Top-seeded Zhang Shuai registered a straight-sets victory over 2013 Wimbledon finalist Sabine Lisicki to open her Jiangxi Open account on Tuesday.
Zhang hopes to clinch her third WTA title but had to fight for nearly two hours to beat her German opponent 7-6 (0), 6-3.
Zhang, who accepted a wild-card entry, will take on Margarita Gasparyan of Russia in the second round.
Thai qualifier Peangtarn Plipuech benefited when fifth-seeded Vitalia Diatchenko retired due to injury while trailing 4-6, 6-4, 3-1.
Other first-round winners included Tereza Martincova of the Czech Republic, and Karman Thandi of India.