Tennis: Sharapova, Berdych win but Radwanska falls in China

Tennis: Sharapova, Berdych win but Radwanska falls in China

BEIJING - Five-times Grand Slam winner Maria Sharapova made it through to the third round of the US$5.4 million (S$6.75 million) China Open 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.

Sharapova traded 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.

Fifth 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 players.

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.

Berdych, 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.

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