Beijing, China (Sports Network) - World No. 1 Victoria Azarenka and
second seed Maria Sharapova were easy quarterfinal winners Friday at the
$4.8 million China Open tennis event.
The Australian Open champion and U.S. Open runner-up Azarenka, of Belarus,
blew past Swiss Romina Oprandi 6-2, 6-0 in 55 minutes, while the French Open
champion and former No. 1 Sharapova, of Russia, was pasting fifth seed
Angelique Kerber 6-0, 3-0 when the German retired due to a right foot injury
after 53 minutes of lopsided tennis.
Azarenka's semifinal opponent will be ninth-seeded French slugger Marion
Bartoli, while Sharapova will take on seventh-seeded heavy Chinese crowd
favorite Li Na.
Li ousted third-seeded and defending Beijing champion Agnieszka Radwanska
6-4, 6-2, while Bartoli held off Spaniard Carla Suarez Navarro 6-0, 2-6, 6-4
on the hardcourts at the National Tennis Centre.
The 2012 Wimbledon runner-up Radwanska beat German Andrea Petkovic
in last year's Beijing finale and was a China Open runner-up in 2009.
Radwanska was also a runner-up in Tokyo last week.
On Saturday, Azarenka will face Bartoli for a 12th time on the WTA tour,
seeking a ninth win in their lifetime series, while Sharapova is 7-4 all-time
versus Li heading into their semi affair. Azarenka and Bartoli have split a
pair of meetings this year, while Sharapova is 2-0 against Li in 2012.
The 2012 Beijing titlist will collect $848,000.
The Sports Network