Maria Sharapova beats Li Na to reach China Open final in Beijing
Last Updated: 06/10/12 1:59pm
Maria Sharapova: Through to China final
Second seed Maria Sharapova is through to the final of the China Open after powering past home hope Li Na 6-4 6-0 in Beijing.
The Russian will now bid for her fourth title of the year on Sunday, having won a keenly-contested opening set against Li before romping through the second.
The 25-year-old served very poorly at the start of the match, producing three double faults in a row at one point, and Li was able to establish a 3-1 lead.
However, Sharapova hit back, winning three consecutive games to go 4-3 up, saving a pair of break points to win a lengthy ninth game, and then securing the decisive break of serve in the 10th game.
Li staved off a first set point with a winning volley but she then put a forehand long two points later to surrender the set after 68 minutes.
The second set was a different story, a dominant Sharapova racing through it in just 33 minutes and winning 25 of the 34 points played.
Sharapova said: "It was a really high quality first set, with a few ups and downs. Obviously, she had the lead in that set, but I came back.
"There were a few key moments to that set and, after I broke her in the last game, it was important to take that momentum into the second set and keep going."
She will now take on Victoria Azarenka in the final after the top seed defeated Marion Bartoli of France 6-4 6-2.