Chinese wild-card entry Zhang Shuai opened the WTA Elite Trophy tournament with a 6-1, 6-1 win over sixth-seeded Timea Bacsinzky on Tuesday.
The tournament in Zhuhai features the leading players on the women’s tour who didn’t qualify for the season-ending WTA Finals in Singapore last week.
Carla Suarez Navarro withdrew because of a right wrist injury and was replaced by Hungarian alternate Timea Babos, who will play Bacsinszky on Wednesday.
Fourth-seeded Elina Svitolina rallied after dropping serve three times in the opening set to beat No. 10-seeded Kiki Bertens 2-6, 6-4, 6-2.
In a night match, Barbora Strycova defeated fifth-seeded Roberta Vinci 6-4, 6-3.
Johanna Konta, who is the top-seeded player at the last event on the WTA calendar for 2016, will open against Sam Stosur on Wednesday.