Millennium Post

Maria endures tough first round in Beijing

Maria endures tough first round in Beijing
Russia’s Maria Sharapova was put under pressure in a first-round win over Simona Halep at the China Open tennis here Monday.

Second seed Sharapova’s serve was broken four time by the Romanian world No.47, but 33 winners against four for Halep helped the Russian to a 7-5, 7-5 victory.

In the second round, Sharapova faces Romanian No.1 Sorana Cirstea, who knocked out Sweden’s Sofia Arvidsson 6-2, 6-3 earlier on Monday.

Former world No.1 Caroline Wozniacki, seeded 10th, had to dig deep to beat Chanelle Scheepers of South Africa. The Dane took the first set, dropping the second on a tie-break to surge back in the decider for a 7-5, 6-7(6), 6-2 win. Wozniacki now faces world No.38 Hsieh Su-Wei of Taiwan in round two.

Elsewhere, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia was retire from food poisoning while 3-0 down in the decider in her first-round encounter against Slovenian qualifier Polona  Hercog.

The next opponent for Hercog will Russia’s Ekaterina Makarova, who upset 13th seed Maria Kirilenko in the first round.

A lot will be at stake for the top seeds to fight for honours in China.


World number two Novak Djokovic said on Monday his conqueror in the US Open final this year Andy Murray has the ‘quality’ to be a contender at every Grand Slam the  Scotsman plays in.

‘Murray, I think, is playing better than ever,’ Djokovic said in Beijing ahead of his first round tie at the China Open. ‘He won his first Grand Slam title. I’m sure that he’s one that’s going to be, in the future, one of the contenders to win every Grand Slam he plays in.

‘He definitely has the skill, the quality,’ added Djokovic who is looking to extend his unbeaten record at the China Open.
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