Home favourite Zhang Shuai stole the show on day one of the WTA Elite Trophy in Zhuhai, trouncing Timea Bacsinszky 6-1 6-1.
A career-best season was enough to earn Zhang a wildcard for the 12-player event, featuring leading WTA Tour stars outside of the eight who qualified for last week's WTA Finals in Singapore.
And the world number 28 shone in her first match on Tuesday, dropping just three points behind her first serve as sixth seed Bacsinszky suffered a thumping defeat inside an hour.
"I cannot say how happy I am about this. It was a great game for me," said Zhang, whose next opponent in the Camellia Group will be Timea Babos after second seed Carla Suarez Navarro was forced to pull out of the tournament due to injury.
"I have to withdraw because I have this pain in my right wrist," explained Suarez Navarro.
"I've had this pain from two weeks ago, which forced me to retire from my last tournament, [in] Moscow. I tried every means to make it possible to play this tournament, but sometimes being healthy is top priority."
Fourth seed Elina Svitolina made a winning start in the Rose Group, coming from behind to beat Kiki Bertens 2-6 6-4 6-2.
Tuesday's third and final match saw Barbora Strycova record a straight-sets win over Roberta Vinci in the Peony Group.