Simona Halep managed to come out successful in a highly anticipated clash with Maria Sharapova. The former was coming into the game as the No.2 seed and she managed to reach the quarter-finals as the first of the China Open. She came up with a brilliant 6-2, 6-2 win over the Russian. Even though recent meetings between the two have seen the full complement of sets in four out of the seven games, Sharapova was unable to make much of an impact in this game. Halep claimed that this was her best ever tennis, as she has been able to come up with a faultless match.
Rather than concentrating on the quarter-finals, Halep claimed that she wants to enjoy this victory and the moment.
Halep and Sharapova met each other for the first time after almost 2 years. The former managed to get revenge over Sharapova for the first round US Open loss a few months ago. Sharapova has been having the middle of the head-to-head meetings, but Halep was able to come up with the sizeable advantage by doubling of the winners compared to unforced errors (6). Halep was indeed helped by the presence of the significant advantage of regular tennis on her side. Prior to the game, Sharapova had been involved in just over five hours of tennis in the first two rounds of the China Open. She has spent a significant chunk of time out of the game due to a ban.
One of the biggest problems for Sharapova was unforced errors, as she committed 20 in return for just seven winners. The Russian only managed to be in the lead once in the entire game. Sharapova acknowledged that her opponent was significantly better over the course of the match, which certainly did not going with the trend of the recent head-to-head meetings between the two.