ZHUHAI, China: U.S. Open finalist Roberta Vinci won her first match at the WTA Elite Trophy, beating Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-4, 6-4 Wednesday.
One break in each set proved enough for the fourth-seeded Italian, who saved all three break points she faced.
“Two sets against Svetlana is not always easy,” Vinci said. “She’s a great player. She won Moscow, so probably she was in confidence, but I played well today.”
The tournament brings together 11 of the top players who did not qualify for last week’s WTA Finals in Singapore, including Caroline Wozniacki, Jelena Jankovic and Venus Williams. Zheng Saisai of China was added to the field as a wild-card entry.
The qualifiers compete in a four-group round robin format, with the winners of each group advancing to the semifinals.
On Thursday, Kuznetsova will face Wozniacki, needing victory to keep alive her hopes of advancing.
In Wednesday’s other singles match, third-seeded Karolina Pliskova beat Jankovic 6-4, 3-6, 6-2.
“It was a pretty tough match from the beginning. She’s defending pretty well and running a lot over the baseline, so it’s tough to kill a ball against her,” Pliskova said. “She’s also returning pretty well, so there were a lot of long rallies, which I’m not used to.”
Pliskova will next meet Sara Errani in her final round robin match on Thursday.