Despite sitting 400 places below her opponent in the rankings, Lee looked comfortable in the opening exchanges, saving break point to take the first game before holding to love a few minutes later. But it was all downhill from then on in, as Morita reeled off the next nine games to take a vice like grip on the match.
And it was a stranglehold she would not relinquish, breaking for the fifth and final time to complete a 62 61 victory.
No.2 seed Govortsova, who knows that a title run this week will result in a first year-end Top 50 finish in four years, enjoyed a few scares against Zheng Saisai, before eventually coming through, 76(3) 61.
Mladenovic, Chang and Doi were pushed even harder; Doi edged past Wang Qiang, 64 75, Mladenovic defeated Julia Glushko, 62 46 63, and Chang saw off Luksika Kumkhum, 76(5) 57 62.