Azarenka grabs spot in China Open semis

Oct. 5, 2012 at 10:15 AM
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BEIJING, Oct. 5 (UPI) -- Victoria Azarenka and Maria Sharapova lost just two games between them Friday in earning berths in the semifinals of the China Open in Beijing.

Azarenka, the world No. 1, dispatched Romina Oprandi 6-2, 6-0 in a brisk 55 minutes. Azarenka won 74 percent of the points off Oprandi's serve, winning all six of her break-point opportunities.

Sharapova, second in the world rankings, won the first nine games of her match before fifth-seeded Angelique Kerber retired with a right foot injury. Sharapova won two-thirds of the points on serve -- saving five break points -- and 60 percent when receiving serve.

China's Li Na ousted defending champion and third-ranked Agnieszka Radwanska 6-4, 6-2 without dropping serve. She lost just 14 points on serve while breaking Azarenka's serve three times.

Ninth-seeded Marion Bartoli survived a seesaw third set in a 6-0, 2-6, 6-4 win over Carla Suarez Navarro. They traded a series of breaks before Bartoli's third of the third set put her up 5-4 and she held serve for the win.

Azarenka is matched against Bartoli and Sharapova goes against Li in the semifinals Saturday. Azarenka holds an 8-3 series edge over Bartoli after they split two matches in 2012. Sharapova won both meetings with Li this year and improved to 7-4 in her career versus Li.

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