American Venus Williams overpowered Zheng Jie at an exhibition match in Hong Kong on Friday, with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over her Chinese opponent.
Zheng, ranked 35 in the world, took an early 2-0 lead in the first set but Williams powered back to overtake the 26-year-old Chengdu native.
Williams, a seven-time Grand Slam winner, continued the pressure in the second set, blasting Zheng with her powerful serve.
"Every game was close," Williams said after the match.
"I really had to work for it."
The American struggled for much of 2009, losing her Wimbledon crown to sister Serena and then crashing out of the Beijing Open in October.
Earlier Friday, Japan's Ayumi Morita beat 24-year-old Argentine Gisela Dulko 7-5, 3-6, and 10-4 in a tiebreak.
The Hong Kong tournament features four teams with three players each -- representing Russia, Europe, the Americas and Asia Pacific -- in singles and mixed doubles play.
The tournament, which wraps up Saturday, comes before the Australian Open later this month, the first Grand Slam of the season.