Beijing :World number six Jelena Jankovic of Serbia opened her China Open campaign on Saturday with a gritty straight sets win over Czech veteran Klara Zakopalova, as play got under way in the women's draw.
Jankovic, the third seed in Beijing and the only seeded player in action on Saturday, slugged it out with Zakopalova from the baseline but eventually capitalised on the Czech's weak serving, breaking her a total of seven times.
The 25-year-old Serb -- trying to rebound from an early loss to Estonia's Kaia Kanepi in the Pan Pacific Open this week in Tokyo -- also kept Zakopalova off-balance by mixing her heavy groundstrokes with the occasional lob.
In other first-round play, Swiss veteran left-hander Patty Schnyder breezed through her opening match, defeating Kazakhstan's Yaroslava Shvedova, 6-1, 6-4.
The 31-year-old Schnyder, ranked 44th in the world, overwhelmed the Kazakh with her power from the baseline, sealing the victory with a wicked forehand winner down the line.
Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki -- who clawed out a three-set victory in Tokyo on Saturday against Russia's Elena Dementieva -- is the top seed in Beijing, where she could take over the world number one ranking.
Current number one Serena Williams, her sister Venus and reigning US Open champion Kim Clijsters all withdrew from the China Open, citing injury.
But 16 of the top 20 women on the WTA Tour will be in the Chinese capital, including last year's winner Svetlana Kuznetsova, three-time Grand Slam winner Maria Sharapova and Dementieva, who won Olympic gold in Beijing in 2008.
The tournament is a joint WTA-ATP event, with both tours looking to make inroads in China, seen as a strategic marketplace.
Titleholder Novak Djokovic is the top seed in the men's draw, which begins on Monday. The Serb will face a tough challenge from Britain's Andy Murray, in action for the first time since a disappointing early loss at the US Open.