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Aryna Sabalenka advances to second round at Tianjin Open

2018 China Open - Day 7

BEIJING, CHINA - OCTOBER 05: Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus reacts against Qiang Wang of China during her Women’s Singles Quarterfinals match in the 2018 China Open at the China National Tennis Center on on October 5, 2018 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Xinyu Cui/Getty Images)

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TIANJIN -- Aryna Sabalenka moved closer to a spot in the WTA Finals by beating Sofia Kenin in the first round of the Tianjin Open on Tuesday.

The fourth-seeded Sabalenka, who lost to Maria Sharapova in the final last year, won the Wuhan Open title two weeks ago. She also defeated Kenin en-route to that victory.

Second-seeded Caroline Garcia advanced by beating Chinese qualifier Xun Fang Ying.

Third-seeded Elise Mertens and Timea Bacsinszky also advanced. Mertens beat Zhu Lin, while Bacsinszky advanced after Danielle Collins retired from their match after losing the first set.