San Francisco - China's Zheng Saisai picked up where she left off at the WTA Tour's Stanford tournament on Monday by beating Maria Mateas 7-5, 6-1 in a first-round match.
Zheng won the doubles title at Stanford last year, joining forces with compatriot Xu Yifan to beat Anabel Medina Garrigues and Arantxa Parra Santonja 6-1, 6-3.
Zheng advances to the second round where she will face seventh seeded Alize Cornet who toppled unseeded American Jennifer Brady 3-6, 6-4, 6-4.
The 22-year-old Zheng has three career WTA doubles titles but is seeking her first singles crown.
She is ranked 74th in the world in singles and 19th in doubles.
Zheng blasted three aces and won 67 percent of her first serve points in the 85-minute match on the hardcourts at Stanford University.
American Mateas recorded seven double faults and struggled with her serve, winning just three points total on her second serve.
France's Cornet rallied from a set down to dispatch Brady in two hours and 44 minutes. She said she usually plays the WTA Washington event at this time of the year but decided to switch it up for a change.
"I always wanted to come here to Stanford, but somehow I was always ending up in Washington, maybe because it was closer," Cornet said.
"But this time I really don't regret it because I really love this place. It's amazing, and a lot of champions have won the tournament, so I hope to go as far as I can."
Cornet dropped the first four games of the opening set against Brady in her first match since reaching the third round at Wimbledon.
"I had some trouble in the beginning of the match. I just kept fighting," she said.
In other matches Monday, Nao Hibino of Japan needed three sets to thwart a spirited challenge from Veronica Cepede Royg 7-5, 4-6, 6-4.
Results from the first day of the WTA event in Stanford, California on Monday (x denotes seeding):
Alize Cornet (FRA x7) bt Jennifer Brady (USA) 3-6, 6-4, 6-4
Zheng Saisai (CHN) bt Maria Mateas (USA) 7-5, 6-1
Nao Hibino (JPN) bt Veronica Cepede Royg (PAR) 7-5, 4-6, 6-4
Nicole Gibbs (USA) bt Carol Zhao (CAN) 6-2, 4-6, 6-3
Ana Bogdan (ROM) bt Asia Muhammed (USA) 6-4, 5-7, 6-3