Courtesy The News International
WUHAN, China: Angelique Kerber survived a scare in her first match as world number one before beating Kristina Mladenovic in three sets at the Wuhan Open on Tuesday.
The US and Australian Open champion, who had a bye in the first round, made a convincing start before missing two set points and allowing Mladenovic to take the first set in a tie break.
But Germany´s Kerber then swept through the rest of the match, winning 6-7 (4/7), 6-1, 6-4, to set up a third-round meeting with two-time Wimbledon champion Petra
World number four Agnieszka Radwanska also romped into the third round, as last year´s US Open finalist Roberta Vinci became the tournament´s first seeded casualty.
One-time Wimbledon runner-up Radwanska won 6-4, 6-1 against Russia´s Ekaterina Makarova, who bagged Olympic women´s doubles gold last month in Rio.
Italy´s Vinci, ranked 15, was ousted by Yaroslava Shvedova 7-5, 6-2 — her second defeat to the Kazakh this year.
Radwanska could now meet an in-form Caroline Wozniacki, who plays qualifier Katerina Siniakova later on Tuesday, in the third round of the $2.6 million hardcourt event.
The former world number one beat Poland´s Radwanska in the semi-finals of last week´s Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo, en route to her first title of the year.
Meanwhile, American Madison Brengle fell to 10th-ranked Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia 6-0, 6-4, as eighth seed Madison Keys beat Caroline Garcia 6-3, 6-4.
Former Wimbledon quarter-finalist Barbora Strycova downed Japan´s Misaki Doi, while Daria Kasatkina of Russia beat fellow qualifier American Louisa Chirico.