Garbine Muguruza overcame a late wobble to start her 2017 WTA Finals bid by defeating Jelena Ostapenko 6-3 6-4 in White Group.
World number two Muguruza went into the match with a 2-1 record against Ostapenko, making her first appearance at the season-ending competition, but that solitary defeat came in their only encounter on a hard court in Wuhan.
The Spaniard contrived to lose on that occasion after winning the first set 6-1 and threatened to tread a similar path before serving out the match at the second attempt.
Ostapenko's typically aggressive style led to a number of errors that aided Muguruza, who did well to keep the pressure on for prolonged periods and lay down a marker.
The Latvian sent a backhand down the line long when attempting to hold her first service game and the Wimbledon champion punished her.
Ostapenko collected herself to respond immediately but a double fault then handed the advantage back to Muguruza, though she managed to get back on serve after seeing three break points saved in game seven.
Once more, though, the French Open winner was unable to consolidate as the 24-year-old dominated her second serve to restore her lead.
Muguruza's powerful groundstrokes forced Ostapenko from side to side and she confidently claimed five games in succession to close in on victory - the younger player calling for her coach as her frustrations mounted.
Ostapenko brought that run to an end and dug in for a brilliant break with the WTA Player of the Year hoping to serve out the set, but Muguruza got the job done at the second attempt despite the impressive fightback.
Muguruza  bt Ostapenko  6-3 6-4
Muguruza - 6/5
Ostapenko - 15/10
Muguruza - 2/2
Ostapenko - 2/4
BREAK POINTS WON
Muguruza - 5/7
Ostapenko - 3/8
FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE
Muguruza - 68
Ostapenko - 59
PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE
Muguruza - 71/32
Ostapenko - 63/36
Muguruza - 54
Ostapenko - 46