Beijing, China (Sports Network) - World No. 1 Victoria Azarenka and
second seed Maria Sharapova were a pair of easy third-round winners
Thursday at the $4.8 million China Open tennis event.
The Australian Open champion and U.S. Open runner-up Azarenka, of Belarus,
cruised past Russian qualifier Elena Vesnina 6-3, 6-3, while the French Open
champion and former No. 1 Sharapova, of Russia, drilled Slovenian qualifier
Polona Hercog 6-0, 6-2 on the hardcourts at the National Tennis Centre.
Also on Day 6, fifth-seeded German left-hander Angelique Kerber held off 10th-
seeded former world No. 1 Dane Caroline Wozniacki 6-1, 2-6, 6-4 and seventh-
seeded Chinese star Li Na came from behind to beat compatriot Peng Shuai 4-6,
6-2, 7-6 (7-2). Wozniacki was the Beijing champion two years ago and titled in
Seoul two weeks ago.
Fridays' quarterfinals will pit Azarenka against Swiss Romina Oprandi;
Sharapova versus Kerber; third-seeded Pole Agnieszka Radwanska against Li;
and ninth-seeded French slugger Marion Bartoli versus Spaniard Carla Suarez
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 a runner-up in Tokyo last week.
The 2012 Beijing titlist will collect $848,000.
The Sports Network