The Australian Open and Wimbledon champion made nine unforced errors with five double faults in the 83-minute encounter against the big-hitting Kanepi, who broke the American three times. The second seed, though, always looked to have the edge on the big points and claimed her place in the second round of the $6.6 million event with a fifth break of serve when world number 48 Kanepi went long.
Williams only needs to have a better result than Safina in Beijing to claim the number one ranking, according to WTA officials. While the Russian said she did not think about the points race, the American has her sights firmly set on the top spot. "It's definitely on my radar," Williams said. "I would love to be number one but I also want to pay the price to be number one. And it'll come eventually."