Sharapova dominates in Beijing but Wozniacki crashes out

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Convincing win: Maria Sharapova won in straight sets against Carla Suarez Navarro.

Maria Sharapova and Petra Kvitova advanced in the China Open yesterday, but Caroline Wozniacki crashed out.

Sharapova got off to a flying start in her match, racing to a 5-0 lead over Carla Suarez Navarro.

The Spaniard was a match for the world No4 in the second, but Sharapova was dominant at the tie-break, finishing the match 6-1, 7-6 (3).

World No3 Kvitova defeated home favourite Peng Shuai 6-4, 6-2 in her first match since her victory at the Wuhan Open last Saturday.

Kvitova will now meet 16th seed Venus Williams for a tricky thirdround match.

Peng, who made the semi-finals at the US Open last month, took a 2-0 lead before the Wimbledon champion stormed back, winning 12 of the next 16 games and wrapping up the match in 66 minutes.

Peng had difficulty dealing with her left-handed opponent’s powerful serves.

“Some of the players, they didn’t really get used to left-handers’ serves,” Kvitova said. “So I think that’s my advantage.”

World No8 Wozniacki was hoping for a deep run in Beijing, but crashed out in her first match at the hands of Samantha Stosur. The world No21 Aussie battled in a tense second-set tie break, saving five set points as she wrapped up her 6-4, 7-6 (9) victory.

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Djokovic advances into third round of China Open

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The boss of Beijing: Novak Djokovic is on course for a fifth consecutive win in the China Open after beating Vasek Pospisil in the second round yesterday.

Novak Djokovic continued his 100 per cent record at the China Open yesterday as he overcame late resistance from Vasek Pospisil.

The top seed in Beijing was playing at his dominating best in the first set, breaking serve in the third and final games as he appeared in control.

But the Serb lost his trademark composure midway through the second set, screaming to himself in anger as he failed to capitalise on a break point in the fourth game.

Canadian Pospisil was in the ascendency three games later, drawing level at 40-40 with a brilliant cross-court shot which left the world No1 flat-footed.

The 41st ranked player in the world then went on to force breakpoint and took the game following an incredible 26-shot rally.

But his valiant fightback was in vain when a clearly relieved Djokovic won the next game, punching the air with delight and screaming as he made it 5-5.

Djokovic then took the next two games as he closed in on victory, and moments later was dancing to the applause of the crowd as a dejected Pospisil made his way to the court exit.

Pospisil served extremely well in the second set, Djokovic said, which put added pressure on his game.

“That’s why the second set was very close,” Djokovic added following his 6-3, 7-5 victory.

“He had a set point on his serve. But, you know, I fight my way through. I believed I could recover from break down, and I did.

“I think it was, especially in the second set, a very high-quality tennis match.”

Djokovic is bidding for his fifth title in Beijing, a tournament he has won every year since 2009, except for 2011 when he did not take part.

A win will boost his hopes of securing the year-end No1 ATP Ranking, and Djokovic added: “You work all your life and you dream about becoming the No1 in the world, the best in what you do. It’s definitely always the highest priority out there along with winning Grand Slam titles.

“That gives me plenty of motivation. It would mean a lot to me. That’s why I’m out here in Beijing and Shanghai, competing and trying to get that year-end No1.”

The only other men’s match of the day was between eighth seed John Isner and Tommy Robredo. The American saved one match point in edging his Spanish opponent 3-6, 7-5, 7-6 (4) in two hours and 12 minutes.

Isner faced match point serving at 4-5, 30/40 in the third set, and smacked an ace to stay alive and eventually force the third-set tiebreak, which he won. Isner struck 16 aces in total, putting him over 900 aces for the third straight season and for the fourth time in the past five years.

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Highlights from day five at the WTA China Open

Scott 1/10/2014
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