Maria Sharapova is through to the China Open quarter-finals after beating Polona Hercog
Last Updated: 05/10/12 8:29am
Maria Sharapova: Dropped just two games en route to victory
Maria Sharapova continued her impressive run at the China Open as she dropped just two games en route to the quarter-finals.
Sharapova was simply too strong for Slovenian qualifier Polona Hercog as she raced to a 6-0 6-2 win in 74 minutes.
Hercog, who had earlier accounted for Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Ekaterina Makarova, did take her only break chance in the second set but that was as good as it got as the second seed powered through.
"I had a long first round, even though it was two sets, but today and yesterday was definitely a little bit quicker," commented Sharapova.
"I played really well in the beginning and got a little tense in the second set, but I felt like I really needed that challenge. It's nice to be in the quarter-final stage of this tournament."
Sharapova will face her first real test of the Premier Mandatory event in the next round when she takes on fifth seed Angelique Kerber of Germany, a 6-1 2-6 6-4 victor over former world number one Caroline Wozniacki.
Elsewhere, World number one and top seed Victoria Azarenka dispatched Russian qualifier Elena Vesnina 6-3 6-3 to set up a quarter-final tie with Switzerland's Romina Oprandi.
The showpiece match of the day was between local players Li Na and Shuai Peng and it was the former who prevailed in an epic 4-6 6-2 7-6 (7/3) to book a quarter-final date with defending champion Agnieszka Radwanska.