World No. 2 Caroline Wozniacki and Wimbledon champion Angelique Kerber yesterday eased through their opening matches at the Wuhan Open in China.
Australian Open champion Wozniacki, who received a first-round bye, was barely troubled by 61st-ranked Swede Rebecca Peterson, winning 6-4, 6-1 to set up a third-round clash with Olympic champion Monica Puig, who romped past Aliaksandra Sasnovich 6-2, 6-2.
Peterson offered some resistance in the first set, breaking Wozniacki’s serve at 5-2, but faded as the Dane — who lost her first match at Japan’s Pan Pacific Open last week — quickly regained control as she looks for a good run to secure a return to the WTA Finals, which she won last year.
“It’s great to get a good start, obviously. Every match counts,” Wozniacki said. “I’m just trying to keep my head down and keep focused, and try to win as much as I can to get that [WTA Finals] spot.”
World No. 3 Kerber has already qualified for next month’s WTA Finals in Singapore and advanced after a knee injury forced her American opponent Madison Keys to retire.
The German looked set for a big win and was leading 6-0, 4-1 when Keys could not continue.
In the first round of the doubles, Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Bethanie Mattek-Sands of the US cruised to a 6-2, 6-2 victory over Japanese duo Miyu Kato and Makoto Ninomiya in 57 minutes.
Hsieh and Mattek-Sands saved two of four break points and converted six of eight to advance to a second-round clash with Czech second seeds Andrea Sestini Hlavackova and Barbora Strycova.
Additional reporting by staff writer
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