BEIJING, China - WTA Rising Star Garbine Muguruza won her opening match at the China Open on Wednesday to get within one win of the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global.

Taking on Irina Falconi, Muguruza found herself locked at 2-all after more than half an hour on the court - but the No.5-seeded Spaniard completely pulled away from there, reeling off eight games in a row to build a 6-2, 4-0 lead, and a few games later she closed the American qualifier out, 6-2, 6-1.

"I'm very happy," Muguruza said. "I tried to keep the level I had in Wuhan and also in Tokyo. It was hard, because I didn't play for two days, and here the conditions are not the same, so I'm happy."

She's now through to the third round, where she'll face Croatian veteran Mirjana Lucic-Baroni.

Muguruza and Lucic-Baroni are tied in their head-to-head, 1-1. Lucic-Baroni won their only previous hardcourt meeting, at last year's US Open, while Muguruza got revenge at Wimbledon this year.

If she reaches the quarterfinals of the Premier Mandatory-level event she'll qualify for the WTA Finals for the first time, becoming the first Spaniard to do that since Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario in 2001.

She was told she was one win away from Singapore in her post-match press conference.

"Is it true?" she replied. "Well, I didn't know that. I knew obviously if I did a great tournament here, I would qualify for the WTA Finals. But I didn't know which round it was. I think for sure that's a very good motivation now - I think it's 'the' motivation, to finally go there and be one of the top players.

"I think I want to finish the year in a good way. I want to go on holidays and say to myself, 'Look, I had a great year, I did everything I could to go off the court feeling that I gave it all my effort.'"

There was one more thing of note in her presser - the fact that some Chinese fans call her mushroom.

"My father actually used to call me mushroom. You know why? Because sometimes they look pretty, but inside, if you eat them, you're like dead. These ones are red. It's funny," Muguruza explained.

"But why do they call me mushroom here? I didn't understand. Why?"

The reporter said the pronunciation of her name sounds like mushroom in Chinese.

"Oh - well, I think it's funny, that's it!" Muguruza replied. "It's just, you know, funny."