China Open: Maria Sharapova beats Ekaterina Makarova in three sets

China Open: Maria Sharapova beats Ekaterina Makarova in three sets

Maria Sharapova beat fellow Russian Ekaterina Makarova in three sets to reach the China Open third round.

The five-time Grand Slam champion ranked 104th in the world before the china open, beat world number 33 Makarova 6-4 4-6 6-1.

The 30-year-old wildcard beat Anastasija Sevastova in a tight three-set match in the opening round.

And Sharapova was once again pushed all the way, this time against her compatriot Makarova, whom she beat seven times in a row.

After winning the first set 6-4, the world number 104, who is continuing her return to tennis from a doping ban, lost the second set by the same score.

Wildcard entry Sharapova will next play Romanian world two Simona Halep, who was leading 6-2 2-1 when Slovak opponent Magdalena Rybarikova retired with illness.

Halep lost to Sharapova in the US Open first round in August.

She said: “I thought the level of tennis was quite high.

“We had a few breaks in the first [set]. I felt that despite losing that second set, I was motivated to start the third.

“I was the more aggressive player in the end. I started reading her patterns and a little bit of everything I think helped me win.”

Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova beat America’s Varvara Lepchenko 6-4 6-4 in Beijing.

The Czech 12th seed will play Denmark’s world number six Caroline Wozniacki in the next round.

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