Top seed Serena Williams (Player Info) had to work really hard to overcome world number 18 Maria Kirilenko (Player Info), in their match on Thursday afternoon at the China Open. It took the American an hour and thirty seven minutes to subdue the Russian, who even had an early break in the second set before Williams stormed back to take the match 7-5 7-5.
Playing Serena in the quarters will be 6th seed Caroline Wozniacki (Player Info), who took out the 11th seeded American, Sloane Stephens (Player Info). After a bye in the first round, the Dane won her second round match 6-3 6-1 and emulated the same score against Stephens. The first set was a real battle, taking more than an hour, but Wozniacki wove her magic from the back of the court to take the second set far quicker for a match than ran for an hour and forty four minutes.
The only third round match featuring two unseeded players was between 43rd ranked Andrea Petkovic (Player Info) and 34th ranked Lucie Safarova (Player Info). Safarova won her first two rounds in straight sets including defeating Sam Stosur in the first round, while Petkovic took out Victoria Azarenka in the first round in three and then beat Svetlana Kuznetsova, also in three. The Czech took the first set 6-4 and the German levelled sets when she took the second in a breaker 7-4. The decider also went to a breaker in this cliff hanger, which Safarova took 7-2 as the German eventually ran out of steam.