Now we know all the quarterfinalists of the 4,828,050 China Open. The Marion Bartoli vs. Carla Suarez Navarro quarterfinal was determined yesterday, while after today’s third-round matches we know the six remaining members of the final eight: Maria Sharapova vs. Angelique Kerber, Victoria Azarenka vs. Romina Oprandi and Agnieszka Radwanska vs. Li Na.
Second seed Maria Sharapova was the first to advance on Thursday, with an easy 6-0 6-2 victory over Polona Hercog in their first meeting. In other news, on the side of her tennis career, Sharapova is working on spreading her Sugarpova candy products outside the US. Her next destination will be Australia, and what better timing for the launch than ahead of the Australian Open.
World No.1 Victoria Azarenka followed Sharapova into the quarterfinals, defeating Elena Vesnina 6-3 6-3 on the third match point in a six-deuce finishing game.
Caroline Wozniacki survived two tough three-setters (featuring a total of three tiebreaks) against Chanelle Scheepers and Hsieh Su-Wei, but in today’s third set against Angelique Kerber she fell short in the very last game, dropping serve for the first time in the set and losing to the German for the third time this year. With the 6-1 2-6 6-4 victory Kerber has not only advanced to the China Open quarters, she’s now qualified for the season-ending Championships in Istanbul. No YEC for Wozniacki in 2012. The one remaining qualifying position will go to Marion Bartoli or Li Na, who today beat countrywoman Peng Shuai 4-6 6-2 7-6(3) to set up a clash with Agnieszka Radwanska.
Well, Kerber won, but I have to say that I was really impressed with Caro’s play. Whatever she’s doing right now (as a training I mean), seems to be working. That was one of the best Caro’s matches I ever saw. Why? For the first time that I can recall, she was not just putting the ball on the other side of the court and hoping for physically destroy her opponent with her consistency. She was agressive! First set aside, she was attacking the ball! Even if it didn’t work yet, she’s definitely on the good track.
On the other hand, I was so NOT impressed with Na Li even if she won. Seriously? 16 double faults?! Ball after ball after ball out? Ok, she always seemed to play by ‘series’ – either every thing works and she just about kills her opponent with those incredible winners or nothing works and she seems to have no control over the ball, but what I saw today was simply ridiculous. But hey, I’m still Aga’s fan, so I hope she’ll play the same against Aga 😉
Eh, Maggie, I wish you’d comment more often… One thing, though: I, for one, hope Li Na does not play like that against Aga (whom I like as well as you or anyone else): I hope they both play their best game and the better one of the day wins. For, being an Aga ‘fan’ does not stop me from being a Na ‘fan’, or realising that Aga herself played some awful tennis in the previous round and muscled her way through to the next one just as Na did. They’re both, each in her own way, true gems of the game in this era of shrieking/whooping baseline ball-bashers.