ZHUHAI, China - Barbora Strycova got her campaign to a winning start at the Huajin Securities WTA Elite Trophy Zhuhai, defeating Roberta Vinci in straight sets 6-4, 6-3 to record the first victory in the Peony Group.
Strycova struggled to find her rhythm early in the match, trading breaks with Vinci twice in the opening six games.
"At the beginning of the match I didn't really feel the court, the ball," Strycova explained in the post-match press conference. "It's always tough when you are not playing for two weeks a match. Then it's tough for me.
"But when I was 1-3 down I was telling myself, 'Be patient more and get into the rallies more, and then run. Sweat more.' Like this I start to feel the ball, feel the game."
? WTA (@WTA) November 1, 2016
She found her footing to even the set at 3-3, then broke Vinci's serve in the penultimate game to squeeze past the Italian and take the opening set.
The Czech survived the rollercoaster second set in the same way - running Vinci all over the court and weathering five consecutive breaks, earning the decisive one in the final game to take the match after an hour and twenty minutes.
"It was a tough match of course," Vinci reflected in her post-match press conference. "Barbora is a great player, a tricky player, a different player. Of course I'm so happy to be coming here for the second time.
"Today I lost, but tomorrow there is another match. I will try my best tomorrow."