Defending champion Su-Wei Hsieh of Taiwan was among the winners Monday on the first day of play at the Guangzhou Open.
Hsieh, seeded sixth this year after her victory over Laura Robson in last year's finale, eased past Argentina's Paula Ormaechea, 6-1, 6-2, in just 56 minutes. She's had a difficult 2013 season after winning her first two titles last year, advancing past the second round just once in her first 20 events.
Eighth-seeded Monica Puig of Puerto Rico also posted a first-round win Monday with a 7-5, 7-6 (7-4) triumph over qualifier Nadiya Kichenok of the Ukraine. Puig, who made some noise earlier this summer with a fourth-round appearance in her first trip to Wimbledon, will next meet Kazakhstan's Galina Voskoboeva, a 6-3, 6-1 winner over Petra Cetkovska of the Czech Republic.
American Vania King rallied for a 2-6, 6-1, 6-3 victory over 2011 Guangzhou champ Chanelle Scheepers of South Africa for just her fourth main draw win on the WTA circuit this year. She failed to make it past the second round in any of her previous nine events and might have a tough time doing so again this week.
Next up for King will be either top seed Sorana Cirstea of Romania or Bojana Jovanovski, who is coming off a win this past weekend at the Tashkent Open.
Chinese wild card Zhang Shuai advanced with a 6-0, 7-6 (7-1) victory over Russia's Olga Puchkova and will next meet Hsieh in the second round.
Other Monday winners were Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic and British wild card Johanna Konta. Pliskova earned a 6-4, 6-3 win over Sweden's Johanna Larsson, while Konta took care of fellow qualifier Richel Hogenkamp of the Netherlands, 6-3, 6-2.