Maria Sharapova, world number 2 and second seed at the China Open came out of the blocks in no mood for a long and protracted match as she had in her first round match against Simona Halep of Romania, when she took on the Slovenian qualifier Polona Hercog on centre court on Thursday afternoon. In fact, she played almost perfect tennis against an opponent who was no match for the Russian’s precise power play, allowing Sharapova to take eight games on the trot. Hercog then held her serve in the third game of the second set and broke Sharapova to go 2-2, but that was her last hurrah as Sharapova reeled off the next four games for game, set and match 6-0 6-2. Even though the Russian having served well throughout the tournament so far, neither player served an ace, but Sharapova’s service stats were far superior to her opponent’s, who had the better stats on break points saved in the one hour fifteen minutes on court.
This is the first time that Sharapova has reached the quarter final round at the Premier Mandatory Level China Open, as she did not play in 2011 as she was injured; and in 2009 and 2010 she lost in the early rounds. She will face off against the German Angelique Kerber who took out Caroline Wozniacki in three long sets, prevailing 6-1 2-6 6-4.