BEIJING, Sept. 29 (Xinhua) -- World number one Serena Williams and home-favored Li Na both powered into second round with easy wins while third seed Agnieszka Radwanska was given an early scare at the China Open on Sunday.
Williams, a former China Open champion, was barely troubled by her Russian opponent Elena Vesnina, needing only one hour and 25 minutes to wrap up the opening round win.
"She serves really well, I just had to be ready for everything," said Williams, who broke Vesnina five times in the match.
The American had a stellar season by winning nine titles, including two Grand Slams, and she has secured the WTA yearend No. 1 with still two months' competitions remaining on the calendar.
"I definitely feel like I have a target. Whether I'm No. 1 or No. 10, I feel like my opponents lift their game against me. I think it's good. And I also think that's one of the reasons it helped me to be able to develop as well," added Williams.
Chinese number one Li also had an easy time in the opening round, playing against her long-time friend Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia. The world number five used one hour and 30 minutes to defeat Hantuchova 6-0, 6-4 and improved the win/loss record to 3-4.
"I think I have pretty good start of the match until 4-Love in the second set. But in this level I can not do this, to relax a little bit. You can see the score in second set. If I was relaxing, I just gave my opponent more chances to come back," said Li.
"But I am happy in the end I can win the match. At least I passed the first round," added the 31-year-old, who reached the last four here in Beijing last year.
Radwanska, however, battled for more than two hours to make it past Stefanie Voegele 4-6, 6-4, 6-4.
After dropping the first set, the star from Poland faced some tricky moments early on in the next two sets -- she faced break points in her first two service games of the second set, and actually lost serve in the first game of the third. But she stayed cool, calm and collected through it all and got her nose in front again every time, eventually making it past the Swiss in two hours and 14 minutes.
"The first match is always tricky, especially because each week we have different conditions, different courts and different balls," Radwanska said afterwards. "I needed this match just to feel the rhythm."
Next up for Radwanska is American Madison Keys, who put on a serving display -- eight aces, zero double faults - and took out Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia at 6-4, 6-3.
Elsewhere, Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic pulled off a 7-5, 6-3 upset over No.15 seed and former US Open winner Samantha Stosur of Australia, and Maria Kirilenko of Russia battled through Chinese Zheng Jie to also make it into second round.