SHENZHEN, China - In her first outing of the new season, Marion Bartoli produced a near-flawless display to brush aside Chan Wing-Yau at the Shenzhen Longgang Gemdale Open.
The opening weeks of the season often bring with them the odd surprise result as the more established names on tour find their feet after two months without competitive tennis.
However, it was clear from the opening exchanges that No.2 seed Bartoli had no intention of playing the role of big name casualty, reeling off the first four games before wrapping up the opening set in under half an hour. The second set was even more one-sided as Chan succumbed, 61 60.
"After a long break, it's pretty hard to come back to competitive tennis and be match ready, but I felt great in that department," Bartoli said. "She had difficulty with my game and I felt I was really in control of the match and I'm pleased with my performance."
Meeting Bartoli in the second round will be qualifier Stefanie Voegele, who edged past Timea Babos, 64 75.
There were also first round wins for three other seeds on Monday, as Klara Zakopalova, Peng Shuai and Bojana Jovanovski all eased through in straight sets.
No.5 seed Zakopalova enjoyed a surprisingly comfortable 61 61 victory over fellow Czech Andrea Hlavackova, while No.8 seed Jovanovski saw off Alexandra Cadantu, 63 61.
Peng's passage was not quite so straightforward. The Chinese No.3, and the No.6 seed this week, made a slow start, recovering from a break down in the opening set to defeat Anne Keothavong, 64 60.
"I'm really happy to come to Shenzhen and get the chance to play at home before the Australian Open," Peng said. "It's my first match so I was a little bit nervous, but I got great support from the fans, which helped me out a lot.
"Playing a qualifier is difficult as she had warmed up through her qualifying matches and was quicker than me in the beginning."