Posted October 05, 2012 on AP on Fox
Top-ranked Victoria Azarenka beat ninth-seeded Marion Bartoli 6-4, 6-2 Saturday at the China Open to set up a final against Maria Sharapova. Sharapova cruised to a 6-4, 6-0 semifinal victory over seventh-seeded Li Na of China. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France advanced to the final when Feliciano Lopez retired with a left wrist injury. In Sunday's final, Tsonga will play top-seeded Novak Djokovic. Djokovic beat unseeded Florian Mayer of Germany 6-1, 6-4. Azarenka, who won her first Grand Slam title at the Australian Open in January, was tested in the first set by Bartoli, but ran ahead to a 5-1 lead in the second set. But Bartoli refused to allow Azarenka to serve out the match in the seventh game even though the Belarussian held a match point. Bartoli broke serve on a second opportunity when Azarenka hit a forehand long. Azarenka took advantage of her next match point on Bartoli's serve in the eighth game. Sharapova, who will be playing for her fourth title of the year, took 68-minutes to secure the first set. The Russian finally went ahead when Li, serving at 4-5, sailed a forehand long on a second set point in the 10th game. Li saved the first set point in the opening set with a winning volley smash at 30-40, but made the forehand error two points later to lose her serve and the set. Sharapova needed only 33 minutes to take the second set, winning 25 of the 34 points played. ''As far as today, it was a really high quality first set and a few ups and downs,'' Sharapova said. ''I came back and then I broke her in that last game of the (first) set. It was important for me to take that momentum going into the second.'' Tsonga was leading 6-1, 4-1 when the 30th-ranked Spaniard decided he could no longer continue playing. Lopez had the trainer on court after the conclusion of the first set. ''Even if today Feliciano was not in good shape, and even if he has a problem, I played well,'' Tsonga said. ''This week my level goes better and better.'' Tsonga is 2-0 in finals this year, winning the Doha and Metz, titles. He defended his Metz title last month.

Azarenka beats Sharapova in Beijing

Top-seeded Victoria Azarenka has won her fifth title of the year by dominating second-seeded Maria Sharapova 6-3, 6-1 at the China Open on Sunday. It was the third time this year that Azarenka won a title by beating Sharapova in the final after the Australian Open and Indian Wells. Sharapova struggled with Azarenka's power throughout the one hour, 28-minute match. She also...

Sharapova Takes Out Li Na to Advance to China Open Final

By Abigail Hinto BEIJING, China – It promised to be a long, tight battle. Thirty minutes into the semifinal match between Maria Sharapova and Li Na at the China Open and we’re only in the fourth game. The crowd supplied a good atmosphere to an engaging contest where every point won or lost was cheered loudly. Even though it was clearly a Li Na crowd, the packets of Sharapova...

Azarenka Routs Sharapova for China Open Crown

BEIJING, China – No. 1 Victoria Azarenka became the first player to win two WTA Premier Mandatory tournaments in a year when she defeated Maria Sharapova 6-3, 6-1 for the China Open crown. Azarenka won the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells Tennis Garden back in March, which was her last tournament win before the China Open. The Belarusian needed only 87 minutes to out-power the...

Sharapova, Tsonga advance to finals in Beijing

Maria Sharapova advanced to the China Open final on Saturday, beating seventh-seeded Li Na 6-4, 6-0. The No. 2-seeded Sharapova has won three clay court titles this season, including the French Open. In the men's draw, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France moved into the final when Feliciano Lopez retired from their semifinal with a left wrist injury. It took Sharapova 68-minutes to...

Azarenka reaches China Open semis

Top-ranked Victoria Azarenka reached the China Open semifinals with a 6-2, 6-0 win over Romina Oprandi of Switzerland on Friday. The Belarussian has yet to drop a set in four matches played this week in Beijing. She has won four titles this year, including her first Grand Slam success at the Australian Open. Azarenka capitalized on all six break-point opportunities Oprandi offered...

China Open – Saturday Results, Sunday Schedule

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Notes and Quotes From Friday at the China Open

BEIJING, China – a few notable quotes from Friday at the China Open. Victoria Azarenka Q.  I will say that in the first several rounds in China Open you have a very relaxed performance and the single‑largest opponent of Williams didn’t participate in China Open.  Now do you have much more confidence to win the title in China Open?   VICTORIA AZARENKA:  Well, I wouldn...

China Open – Friday Results, Saturday Schedule

Results – Friday, October 5, 2012 WTA Singles – Quarterfinals (1) Victoria Azarenka (BLR) d. Romina Oprandi (SUI) 62 60 (2) Maria Sharapova (RUS) d. (5) Angelique Kerber (GER) 60 30 ret. (right foot injury) (7) Li Na (CHN) d. (3) Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) 64 62 (9) Marion Bartoli (FRA) d. Carla Suárez Navarro (ESP) 60 26 64 WTA Doubles – Semifinals (3) Makarova/Vesnina (RUS...

China Open Notes and Quotes from Saturday

BEIJING, China – Some of the more notable quotes from Saturday’s news conferences at the China Open. Marion Bartoli Q.  You have already entered the quarterfinal in China Open.  Are you satisfied with your performance in China Open for the past two years? MARION BARTOLI:  Yes, yes, I’m very pleased and happy to be back in the semifinal here.  I had really a good tournament...

China Open -Thursday Results, Friday Schedule

Results for Thursday, October 4, 2012 WTA Singles – Third Round (1) Victoria Azarenka (BLR) d. (Q) Elena Vesnina (RUS) 63 63 (2) Maria Sharapova (RUS) d. (Q) Polona Hercog (SLO) 60 62 (5) Angelique Kerber (GER) d. (10) Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) 61 26 64 (7) Li Na (CHN) d. Peng Shuai (CHN) 46 62 76(3) WTA Doubles – Quarterfinals Doubles – Quarterfinals (2) Kirilenko/Petrova...
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