On Tuesday Maria Sharapova had played a three-hour match against ninth seed Victoria Azarenka and recovered from a 5-2 down in the third set to win the match. That marathon took its toll, and to the delight of the home crowd China’s Peng Shuai followed up her upset of defending champion Jelena Jankovic in the second round with a 6-2 6-4 victory over Maria Sharapova in the third.
World No.53 Peng got to lead 6-2 5-2 against Sharapova, and although the Russian almost pulled off one of her trademark comebacks, closing to 6-2 5-4 and getting to deuce, there was no more fuel in her tank and she fell on Peng’s third match point.
“My energy level was not where it should have been … there’ve been occasions where I’ve been able to fight back, today was just not one of those days unfortunately,” said the world No.15 Sharapova, who claimed her first title since returning from injury in Tokyo last weekend.
“She played really solid and really aggressive and did all the right things to win the match.”