Top seed Li into Indian Wells third round
Li Na of China hits a return to Zheng Jie of China during the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells Tennis Garden on March 8, 2014 in Indian Wells, California - by Stephen Dunn
Li, women's top seed in the combined ATP Masters and WTA tournament, breezed through the opening set in just 29 minutes, but found the going tougher in the second when she was broken twice to trail 2-4.
She finally got her nose in front of her Chinese compatriot with a service break for 6-5 and sealed it in the next game after one hour and 34 minutes.
Li's current world number two ranking is the highest ever for an Asian player on the WTA Tour.
Zheng, now ranked 58th, was the first Chinese player to crack the top 15, back in 2009, and Li and Zheng played the first all-Chinese WTA final back in 2006.
So Li wasn't surprised that things got tight in the second set.
"Because we know so much about each other, me and Zheng Jie," she said. "We always train together with the national team for, like, 100 years."
Li next plays Czech Karolina Pliskova, a 7-5, 6-2 winner over compatriot Klara Zakopalova.