GUANGZHOU, China - No.3 seed Anett Kontaveit rolled to a first-round victory at the Guangzhou Open on Monday, dropping just two games to defeat Italy's Jasmine Paolini, 6-0, 6-2.
The Estonian was laregly untroubled in the 69-minute victory, never facing break point and earning a plethora of opportunities to break herself.
The Estonian converted on five of the 18 chances she built in the match, though Paolini saved three match points on her serve in the seventh game of the second set to briefly extend the encounter.
Kontaveit is making her third appearance in the Chinese city, having reached the semifinals a year ago.
"I was really on top of the game today. I was being aggressive and playing my game, and it was working really well. I was really happy to get the first round win today," Kontaveit said.
"I just take it match by match and try and do by best each match. That's my only goal. It's the end of the season...but it's really nice to be here."
The Estonian was joined in the second round by qualifier Ipek Soylu, who defeated Maria Sakkari, 6-0, 6-3; Yanina Wickmayer, who needed a pair of tiebreaks to defeat Lesley Kerkhove; Kateryna Kozlova, who won the last eight games to defeat Liu Fangzhou, 7-5, 6-0; and Danka Kovinic, who advanced when Patricia Maria Tig retired at 6-2, 4-2.
Kontaveit's conquerer in last year's semifinals, defending champion and No.4 seed Lesia Tsurenko, was not as fortunate on Monday, as she fell at the first hurdle to in-form Aleksandra Krunic, 6-3, 6-4 on a sweltering first day.
The win was the first for Krunic in four meetings against the Ukrainian, who saved match points late in the second set but was unable to hold serve to level the match.
"I lost four times against Lesia before and for me it's always a big challenge," Krunic said after the match. "The conditions were very tough, and I tried to stay focused and be as patient as I could. It was about surviving the conditions and staying as solid as possible."