Top seed Venus Williams opened the inaugural WTA Elite Trophy in southern China on Tuesday with a three-set win over fellow American Madison Keys.
The seven-time grand slam-winner came from a set down to win 3-6 7-6 (7-5) 6-1 as she seeks to end her season with a 48th career title.
The Elite Trophy, which follows last week’s WTA Finals for the top eight women, is a new event featuring the players ranked nine-20 and held at a purpose-built facility in Zhuhai, which borders gambling haven Macau.
The initial draw selected four pots of three players also including Caroline Wozniacki and Jelena Jankovic who will compete for the $US2.5 million ($A3.5 million) purse.
Williams, aged 35 and ranked world No.11, is enjoying an Indian summer in her career exemplified by her victory at last month’s Wuhan Open.