Top-seeded Dinara Safina ousted Italy’s Roberta Vinci 6-4, 6-4 to put her China Open tennis campaign on track.
The Russian world No. 1 never dropped serve to take the match in one hour, 24 minutes and advance to the second round.
In other matches, Russian sixth-seed Svetlana Kuznetsova downed China’s Zheng Jie 7-6 (3), 7-5, while compatriot Vera Zvonareva roared past Romania’s Sorana Cirstea, 6-2, 6-2.
Second-seeded Serena Williams played Estonia’s Kaia Kanepi on Sunday in a bid to join older sister Venus, who beat Russia’s Vera Dushevina 6-2, 7-6 (1) on Saturday. The Williams sisters are among the favourites, along with 2008 champion Jelena Jankovic.
The China Open main draw starts on Monday for the men, with world No. 2 Rafael Nadal the favourite in a field that also includes American Andy Roddick and Serbia’s Novak Djokovic.