Beijing - Five-times Grand Slam winner Maria Sharapova made it through to the
third round of the $5.4 million China Open on Tuesday, while men's third
seed Tomas Berdych won his opening match.
But it was heartbreak
for women's world number six Agnieszka Radwanska, who became the highest
seed to tumble so far in Beijing as she crashed to an early exit in her
second consecutive tournament.
Sharapova was facing a potential
banana skin in her match with Elina Svitolina. Her Ukrainian opponent
was full of confidence following her appearance in the Wuhan Open
semi-finals last week.
The pair matched each other early in the
game before Sharapova broke her opponent in the fourth game, and then
appeared to take command of the set at 5-1.
The Russian world
number four made it more difficult for herself by allowing Svitolina to
break back before she finally clinched the set.
breaks with the 33rd-ranked player midway through the second set, before
she powered through with a 6-2, 6-2 scoreline.
The French Open
champion will play her third-round match against either 14th seed
Italian Flavia Pennetta or Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain.
seed Radwanska, meanwhile, has now failed to get past the second round
in her last two tournaments in China, losing to Roberta Vinci of Italy
6-4, 6-4 in Beijing.
Radwanska was hoping for a deep run at the
China Open to seal her place in next month's WTA Finals, the
season-ending finale in Singapore featuring the world's top eight women
The Pole was last week dumped out of the Wuhan Open in
the second round by 20-year-old French rising star Caroline Garcia 3-6,
7-6 (7/4), 7-6 (9/7).
In the men's competition, world number six Berdych eased past Spaniard Feliciano Lopez 6-1, 6-2.
a former winner in Beijing in 2011, is chasing points as he pushes to
qualify for the ATP World Tour Finals in November.
He is currently
in eighth position in the race for the London tournament and must at
least remain in that position if he is to make the season finale of the
top eight players.
Only five berths are available as the world's
top three players - Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer - have already confirmed their place for London.
Serb Djokovic and Spaniard Nadal play their matches in Beijing later Tuesday.
Elsewhere in Beijing, eighth seed American John Isner beat Santiago Giraldo of Colombia 6-1, 6-3.
The China Open is being held at the Olympic Park in the Chinese capital and will reach its climax on October 5.