In a match which was spectacular in many ways, Maria Sharapova went through to the semifinals at the China Open 2012 when her opponent Angelique Kerber surprisingly retired due to injury when trailing 6-0 3-0.
The first set was a spectacular 29 minutes of power tennis at its best, with Sharapova double faulting on her first serve after breaking Kerber in the first game, but then went from strength to strength by hitting some amazing winners and serving solidly. Kerber played really well against the onslaught, except for her first serve, but had no chance against the aggressive Sharapova who would not let even one point get away from her and she took the set 6-0.
The second set started better for Kerber, as she took Sharapova to task with some fine shots, but the Russian brick wall managed to take the German’s serve as she converted her third break point chance in a game which lasted more than nine minutes. She then settled and took the next two games to lead 3-0 – an incredible nine games in a row against the world number 6. Kerber called for the trainer at this point and, without much consultation or any treatment, got up to shake hands with the Russian, retiring from the match to the surprise and disappointment of the officials, commentators and spectators alike, as there had been no hint of any problem at all, other than that she was being well and truly thumped by a player in magnificent form.
Sarapova will play the winner of Li Na vs Agnieszka Radwanska for the place in the final.