New Delhi: In a gruelling China Open final, Maria Sharapova dug deep to beat Petra Kvitova 6-4 2-6 6-3 on Sunday. The match in Beijing lasted two hours and 28 minutes. With the win, the Russian climbed up to number two in the WTA singles rankings.
Wimbledon Open champion Kvitova broke Sharapova in the very first game of the match, but the the Russian showed her character by winning the first set. She broke Kvitova twice before winning the opening set 6-4. Kvitova responded strongly, unleashing 15 winners to capture the second the set with and force a decider. But the Czech failed to keep up the momentum, and lost the final set 6-3.
In a tight match, Sharapova capitalised on her opponent's numerous unforced errors, despite hitting lesser winners. Sharapova hit 18 winners compared to Kvitova's 25. But her 29 unforced errors was much lesser than Kvitova's 44, which proved the difference between the finalists.
Returning after an prolong injury lay-off, Kvitova was chasing back-to-back WTA titles having already captured Wuhan WTA crown last week. But Sharapova, who has'nt dropped a set until the final, proved too strong an opponent for her to complete that feat.
With agency inputs