China Open: Simona Halep knocks error-prone Maria Sharapova out in third round – Sharapova suffers her first straight-sets defeat of the season.
Maria Sharapova of Russia hits a return during her women’s singles match against Simona Halep of Romania at the China Open tennis tournament in Beijing on October 4, 2017 (AFP)
World number two Simona Halep beat Maria Sharapova 6-2 6-2 in the China Open third round on Wednesday for her first win over the Russian in eight attempts.
Halep, who lost to Sharapova in the first round of the US Open, won five out of nine break points and took advantage of an error-prone display to hand the Russian her first straight-sets defeat of the season in one hour and 12 minutes.
Despite hitting more winners than her rival, Sharapova committed 39 unforced errors and struggled to contend with the second seed’s power and aggression in Beijing. The Romanian goes through to the quarter-finals where she will take on either 11th seed Agnieszka Radwanska or Daria Kasatkina, who face off later on Wednesday.
French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia took one step closer to qualifying for the season-ending WTA Finals in Singapore with a 6-3 7-5 win over Australia’s Samantha Stosur in round two.
Also advancing to the third round were China’s Peng Shuai, who made short work of Romanian Monica Niculescu with a 6-3 6-2 win, and Wuhan Open champion Caroline Garcia of France who overcame Belgian Elise Mertens 7-6(4) 6-4.