BEIJING (AFP) - Former world No. 2 Vera Zvonareva, who has plummeted to 250 in the rankings, took her first steps in a 2015 attempted comeback by ousting home favourite and third seed Peng Shuai at the Shenzhen Open on Monday.
The 30-year-old was a finalist at both Wimbledon and the US Open in 2010 but has since been dogged by injury and illness.
Peng, China's top women's player following the retirement of Li Na last year, took the first set in their first-round match but the Russian ground out the last two to win 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 in two hours and 24 minutes.
Top seed and world No. 3 Simona Halep survived a scare against Annika Beck of Germany.
The world No. 55 broke Halep to take a 3-2 lead in the deciding set, but the Romanian took the next four games to win 4-6, 6-4, 6-3.
Czech second seed and world No. 4 Petra Kvitova was to take on Duan Yingying of China later.