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Sharapova survives scare in China Open first round

10-01-2012 22:57 BJT

BEIJING, Oct. 1 (Xinhua) -- World No. 2 Maria Sharapova of Russia was made to sweat before she came through in two grueling sets to edge past Simona Halep in the first round of China Open here on Monday.

The Roland Garros winner Sharapova, making her fifth appearance at the WTA premier Mandatory, met unexpected resistance from her world No. 49 opponent of Romania before she won the match 7-5, 7-5 in two hours.

"Certainly the scoreline was quite difficult, but I was up in those two sets," said Sharapova, whose best result here is the semifinalist in 2004.

"Well I think I have to go out there no matter what your ranking is or your opponent is. You have to try and win the match."

Sharapova got off to a rock solid start by breaking two times and establishing a 3-0 lead, but Halep soon rallied to level the score to 4-all by breaking in the fourth and eighth games. Halep took the lead by holding the serve in the ninth game when Sharapova hit the ball into the net.

Sharapova withstood the pressure and regained a 6-5 lead by taking the next two games and converted her first set point in the 12th game.

The 25-year-old Russian was still under relentless pressure in the second set, in which she squandered one match point in the 10th game when leading 5-4. But Sharapova steadied herself in the next two games with a break in the 11th and served out the match to claim the victory.

Sharapova will take on Sorana Cirstea, another Romanian who defeated Sweden's Sofia Arvidsson 6-2, 6-3, in the second round of women's singles.


Editor:Zheng Limin |Source: Xinhua

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