China's most successful player Zheng Jie is convinced she's on her way to reach the group of highest ranked players after defeating Alla Kudryavtseva of Russia 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 on Tuesday in her opening match at the Aegon Classic grass-court tournament.
Zheng helped fuel Chinese tennis after becoming the country's first player to reach a Grand Slam semifinal in Wimbledon in 2008, where she made history two years by winning the first ever doubles title.
Although the 28-year-old player has not fully recovered from a wrist surgery, she won a see-saw struggle with a dangerously hard-hitting Russian during Zheng's climb in the WTA rankings.
''It's really good to be back on grass and I aim to be back in the top 20 again'' said Zheng, who is ranked No. 32.
She will play against the No. 76th-ranked Anne Keothavong of Britain in the second round. Keothavong advanced after beating the 12-seeded Tamira Paszek of Austria 6-2, 7-5.
Eleventh-seeded Iveta Bene...