Ivanovic clears first hurdle

Ana Ivanovic reached the second round of the China Open on Saturday with a straight sets victory over Australian Casey Dellacqua.

The Serbian didn't have the greatest of starts, but recovered to win 10 straight games for a 6-4 6-0 victory.

Awaiting her in round two is Venus Williams, who earlier in the day won the Wuhan Open after Garbine Muguruza retired hurt during the final.

Ivanovic is hoping for a strong finish to the season in order to qualify for the year-end WTA Finals, but she is only taking it match by match at this stage.

"To be honest I'm not looking that far ahead. Every time you think about that it kind of backfires," she said.

"You have to really stay humble and work hard for each match. We see there are so many tough opponents out there… so you really have to keep your head in the right place and play like you practice."

A win in Beijing next week would see her gain the necessary points in order to qualify. She could also sneak into the top eight if the likes of Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams do not recover from their current injury problems.

In other results on the day, two-time Beijing champion Svetlana Kuznetsova beat Germany's Carina Witthoeft 6-4 6-4, while Madison Keys dispatched Kristina Mladenovic 7-5 6-2.

Teliana Pereira defeated Alexandra Dulgheru 7-5 6-2, while Timea Bacsinszky came through in three sets against Camila Giorgi, winning 6-1 4-6 6-3.

Local wild card entry Wang Qiang surprised by beating Varvara Lepchenko 6-2 3-6 6-2.

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