(Reuters) – Estonian Anett Kontaveit recovered from a set and a break down to beat ninth seed Sloane Stephens 4-6 7-5 6-4 in the first round of the Wuhan Open on Sunday.
Kontaveit made a strong start, racing into a 3-0 lead in the opening set before Stephens fought back from behind the baseline, winning six of the final seven games to go a set up.
The American got an early break in the second but stumbled at 4-3, making several errors to allow Kontaveit to break back before the Estonian levelled the match at a set apiece.
Kontaveit stayed on top in the decider, and hit 34 winners compared to 20 from Stephens.
“I’m feeling really good. I’m so happy I got the win,” Kontaveit said. “It was tough but hopefully I will have some rest and be ready for the next match.”
Earlier, Russian 13th seed Daria Kasatkina beat Ukrainian Lesia Tsurenko for the first time in her career to reach round two.
Kasatkina won 6-4 7-5 and will face either Bernarda Pera or Chinese qualifier Wang Xiyu next.
Wang’s compatriot Zhang Shuai beat Australian Samantha Stosur 6-2 6-2.
(Reporting by Simon Jennings in Bengaluru, editing by Pritha Sarkar)