Shenzhen Open: Elise Mertens runs to victory at the opening of the season
From Belgium Elise Mertens had a winning start for 2020 while moving away from Ukraine Lesia Tsurenko 6-3, 6-3 in the first round of the Shenzhen Open on Sunday.
Tsurenko, who was playing his first tournament in almost six months after recovering from an elbow injury, broke his opponent's service in the opening game before Mertens responded in style.
The third seeded Mertens achieved four consecutive games and maintained the advantage of sealing the initial set.
A rare lapse in concentration cost Mertens two break point opportunities to open a 5-1 lead in the second set, but his solid service pace led to a comfortable victory in just over 90 minutes.
Local favorite Zhang Shuai seemed to have full control when he ruled out Magda Linette 6-4, 6-2, extending his dominant record against the Polo to five wins in the same number of games.
Zhang's victory on the central court came only a few hours after joker Wang Xiyu, 18, recovered from a set to overthrow the Romanian Sorana Cirstea 3-6, 6-1, 6-1.
Then, Wang will face Mertens for a place in the quarterfinals.