x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Sharapova beaten by China's Peng

A tired looking Maria Sharapova bows out of the third round of the China Open, beaten 6-2, 6-4 by China's Peng Shuai.

Peng Shuai beats Maria Sharapova to the delight of the home crowd at the Olympic tennis centre.
Peng Shuai beats Maria Sharapova to the delight of the home crowd at the Olympic tennis centre.

BEIJING // A tired looking Maria Sharapova bowed out of the third round of the US$6.6million (Dh24.2m) China Open today, beaten 6-2, 6-4 by China's Peng Shuai to the delight of the crowd at the Olympic tennis centre. The Russian, who claimed her first title triumph since returning from a shoulder injury in Tokyo last Saturday, had to come from 5-2 down in the third set to win a three-hour opening match on Tuesday.

However, there was to be no fight back from the former world No 1 today and Peng upset a high profile player for the second evening in a row after her second round win over defending champion Jelena Jankovic. Peng must next beat either second seed Serena Williams or Nadia Petrova for a place in the China Open semi-finals for the third time. Svetlana Kuznetsova, the 2006 China Open champion, overcame a stuttering serve to claim her place in the last eight with a 6-3, 5-6, 6-0 victory over Ukraine's Alona Bodarenko.

The sixth seeded Russian will face compatriot Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the quarter-finals after the teenager beat Canadian Aleksandra Wozniak 6-4, 6-4. Men's fourth seed Nikolay Davydenko earlier boosted his chances of reaching the ATP Tour's season finale for a fifth time with a 6-1, 6-0 thrashing of Philipp Kohlschreiber. The workaholic Russian, who won his third title of the year in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, last weekend, wasted no time in dispensing with the 22nd-ranked German to reach the quarter-finals.

The world No 8 reached the final of the last version of the Masters Cup in Shanghai last year and needs a good result in Beijing to stay in contention for one of three remaining places in the new season-ending World Tour Finals in London. Davydenko will meet Croatian Marin Cilic in the quarter-finals after the eighth seed beat France's Julien Benneteau 6-2, 2-6, 6-0 earlier today. Second seed Novak Djokovic takes on fellow Serbian Viktor Troicki in the final match of the day on centre court.

* Reuters