Johannesburg [South Africa], Sept.27 : Playing her first match as world number one, Germany's Angelique Kerber survived an early scare against Kristina Mladenovic of France to reach the third round of the Wuhan Open.
After losing the first set by a whisker, the 28-year-old rebounded strongly to register a 6-7 (4), 6-1, 6-4 win over her French opponent in a thrilling second round contest that lasted two hours and 16 minutes.
Kerber insisted that the first match was always tough, but she was happy to bounce back and clinch victory against Mladenovic, who performed extremely well throughout the women's singles clash, Sport24 reported.
With the win, the German star has now set up a clash against two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova, who claiming a 6-3, 6-1 win over Elina Svitolina.
In other women's singles event, third-seed Agnieszka Radwanska stormed into the third round following a 6-4, 6-1 win over Ekaterina Makarova of Russia.
Earlier, Kerber dethroned long-standing incumbent American Serena Williams at the top of the world rankings after lifting her maiden US Open title with a straight-sets victory over 10th-seeded Karolina Pliskova of Czech Republic.