Five years ago, Chang looked well placed to swell the ranks of Asian players at the top of the women's game. However, since then her fortunes have fluctuated wildly, resulting in a slide down the rankings to her current position of No.414.
Against Tanasugarn she looked every inch the Top 100 player, bossing the baseline exchanges from the outset. Having seen the first set fly by amidst a series of flashy winners, the veteran Tanasugarn tried to change her game plan in the second, but she only succeeded in inspiring Chang to new heights.
Chang had come through a tough three-set encounter the previous day but there was never any danger of her running out of steam, closing out a 6-3, 6-0 win to secure her place in Melbourne.
Still just 23, Chang, who owns four WTA doubles titles as well as a win over then-World No.1 Dinara Safina, is looking to put her injury woes behind her and use the Australian Open as a springboard to climb back up the rankings.
"I would like to thank Tennis Australia for organizing the event here in Shenzhen," Chang said. "I am so excited to win and can't wait for the Australian Open."
Last week, Chang lost to Tanasugarn in three topsy-turvy sets at an ITF Circuit tournament in Tokyo and was clearly delighted to have located her best tennis when it mattered most.
"The conditions were different today to the match Tammie and I played last week and I am really glad I played my best tennis today in this very important match," she added.