Wuhan (China), Sep 27 (IANS) World No.1 Angelique Kerber overcame a slow start to see off Kristina Mladenovic to reach the third round of the Wuhan Open tennis tournament here on Tuesday.
The 28-year-old German displayed all the qualities that have taken her to the pinnacle of the women's game to complete a 6-7(4), 6-1, 6-4 victory over Mladenovic and set up a meeting with another Grand Slam champion Petra Kvitova, who dismissed Elina Svitolina of Ukraine 6-3, 6-1.
"Kiki was playing very well today, especially in the first set. I was trying to come back in the second," Kerber said after the match.
"The first match is always tough. But I'm happy to be back in China and to have won my first match here."
"I was trying to play more aggressive, more my tennis, moving a little bit better."
"It's always tough against Petra. So, I will have to play better than today for sure. I will try my best to go out there to win the match and I will have to play one of my best tennis tomorrow against her," added the newly-crowned US Open champion, who has won the last three matches against Kvitova.
No.3 seed Agnieszka Radwanska defused Ekaterina Makarova to register her first win in three attempts in the tournament.
She will next face Caroline Wozniacki, who last week produced a stunning comeback win against Radwanska en route to claiming the Tokyo title earlier this month.
Wozniacki has pulled off a late season resurgence, reaching the US Open semi-final and lifting her first 2016 title at the Toray Pan Pacific Open. The Dane dispatched Katerina Siniakova from Czech Republic 6-4, 6-4 in the second round, recording her seventh straight victory this month.
Defending champion Venus Williams, seeded six, made short work of Yulia Putintseva 6-3, 6-2. She will take on ninth seeded Svetlana Kuznetsova next as the former US Open champion brushed aside America's Madison Brengle 6-0, 6-4.
Italy's Roberta Vinci, 13th seed, was ousted by Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan 7-5, 6-2, becoming the only seeded player to bow out on Tuesday.