Ana Ivanovic hammers Casey Dellacquea in Beijing

Ana Ivanovic crushed Casey Dellacqua in straight sets to start her Beijing Open campaign with a bang.

The world number nine has endured a stop-start year on the WTA Tour, failing to get beyond the quarter-finals of a tournament since her run to the last four at the French Open.

Sixth seed Ivanovic threw away a one-set lead against Garbina Muguruza to exit the Wuhan Open in the third round last time out, but she returned to action with a renewed focus on Saturday.

The Serb broke Muguruza six times on her way to a 6-4 6-0 victory that took a shade over an hour to complete.

Next up for Ivanovic is a clash with Venus Williams – fresh from securing the 47th title of her illustrious career in Wuhan.

Ivanovic’s fellow seeds Timea Bacsinszky (12) and Madison Keys (14) also progressed in Saturday’s first-round action.

Keys had few issues as she saw off Kristina Mladenovic 7-5 6-2, though Bacsinszky had to come from a disastrous first set to overcome Camila Giorgi 1-6 6-4 6-3.

Former world number two Svetlana Kuznetsova eased out Carina Witthoeft 6-4 6-4, while Teliana Pereira beat Alexandra Dulgheru in straight sets and home hope Wang Qiang beat Varvara Lepchenko.