Sharapova eases through to China Open quarter-finals
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World number two Maria Sharapova enjoyed her third consecutive straight-sets win in Beijing on Thursday as she reached the last eight of the China Open in style.
The Russian, second in the WTA rankings behind Victoria Azarenka, defeated Slovenian qualifier Polona Hercog, ranked 90th in the world, 6-0, 6-2 at the capital’s National Tennis Stadium.
Sharapova, 25, has yet to drop a set in the tournament, defeating Romania’s Simona Halep in the first round 7-5, 7-5 and Sorana Cirstea, also of Romania, 6-2, 6-2 in the second.
“I had a long first round, even though it was two sets, but today and yesterday was definitely a little bit quicker,” Sharapova said.
“I played really well in the beginning and got a little tense in the second set, but I felt like I really needed that challenge.
“It’s nice to be in the quarter-final stage of this tournament.”
The number two seed will face her first real test in the next round when she takes on either fifth seed Angelique Kerber of Germany or former world number one Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark.