ZHENGZHOU, China - American Sofia Kenin kicked off the Asian swing with a 6-2, 7-5 victory over France's Chloe Paquet in the first-round of the Premier-level Zhengzhou Open on Monday.
After easing through the opening set, Kenin rallied from a break down in the second set to seal a first-round victory in one hour and 23 minutes.
"Chloe is a tough player. I lost to her in Strasbourg, so I knew I needed to figure out a way to win," Kenin said after the match.
"I think I did a good job overall, and I'm happy to have started the Asian swing pretty solid."
The World No.20 saved all three break points she faced in the opening set, as she broke Paquet twice en route to securing the opener in just over a half hour.
She was forced to rally from an early deficit in the second set, as she lost the first three games, only to win the next three to restore parity in their second meeting of the season.
Not to be easily beaten, Paquet served seven of her nine aces for the match in the second set, but a trio of missed opportunities late cost her.
The World No. 150 was unable to seal a second break in the eighth game of the set, as she held a 0-40 lead only to see Kenin hold serve for 4-4, and lost the last three games of the match.
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"Conditions are really hot. I'm kind of used to it... but it's not easy," the American added. "I'm happy to have gotten through it."
Kenin will next face the winner of the first-round match between Lu Jing-jing and Alizé Cornet.
"Alizé, I played her in Hobart and Cincinnati last year. In Hobart, I won, but she's a tough player," Kenin said. "She gets a lot of balls back, so I just need to figure out how to control and dictate, and we'll see how it goes."
Also advancing in first-round action on Monday was No. 7 seed Petra Martic, who edged a tight opening set before cruising to a 7-5, 6-1 win over Italy's Jasmine Paolini.
"It was definitely a tough one. In the first set, I broke her a couple of times, but she managed to come back. She played some steady tennis, hit a couple of winners, and made it really tough for me out there," Martic said.
"In the second set, I felt like she dropped a little bit. I took my chances and managed to close it out. The conditions are pretty different from what I had in New York, but so far, so good. I can't complain."