Iga Swiatek brushed aside last week’s demoralising loss in Tokyo with the former No. 1 making a winning Monday start in her career debut in Beijing.
The Pole who stands second on the WTA list overwhelmed 55th-ranked Sara Sorribes Tormo 6-4, 6-3 in the opening round of the 1000-level tournament.
The WTA has returned to China after a boycott began two years ago over the disappearance of former player Peng Shuai caused an international human rights furore.
But the sanctions were apparently ended, perhaps lured by sanction fees paid by a handful of WTA China events to the cash-strapped Tour.
Swiatek next plays adopted Frenchwoman Varvara Gracheva; the winner took victory with 27 winners to 25 unforced errors, breaking the Spaniard seven times.