DALIAN, China - Two-time Grand Slam finalist Vera Zvonareva won her first WTA 125K main draw match of the season at the Dalian Open, edging past former Top 100 player Chang Kai-Chen, 6-3, 6-7(5), 6-4.
Zvonareva had been off the tour for nearly two years with injuries, later marrying and giving birth to her first child last summer.
Earning her third Masters degree through the WTA's partnership with Indiana University East, the Russian began playing tournaments on the ITF Circuit earlier this spring, and won her first WTA match in qualifying at the Connecticut Open presented by United Technologies.
Following a second round loss in US Open qualifying, Zvonareva is building momentum in Dalian, surviving a second set hiccup - where she led 5-1 before losing the ensuing tie-break - to take the win over Chang after nearly three hours on court.
Up next for the former World No.2 is hometown favorite Gao Xinyu, who knocked out Rebecca Peterson, 7-6(6), 6-4.
Zarina Diyas is another comeback kid looking to pick up steam in China, needing three sets to dispatch Chinese wildard Yuan Yue, 6-4, 4-6, 6-2. She'll play another Chinese player in qualifier Wang Meiling. Wang took a 7-6(3), 7-5 victory over countrywoman Xun Fang-Ying.