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Home favourite Li advances in China, Ivanovic out

Home favourite Li Na overcame Germany`s Sabine Lisicki 7-5 6-4 at the China Open on Wednesday to set up a quarter-final showdown with former Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova.

The Czech, who won the Japan Open last weekend, overcame Italian fifth seed Sara Errani 6-4 6-7(3) 6-3 in their third round clash at the prestigious $5 million Beijing tournament.

World number four Agnieszka Radwanska was one of a number of high profile women to win through in second round action on the hard courts at the National Tennis Centre as the Pole dispatched promising American Madison Keys 6-3 6-2.

Radwanksa will next face Slovenian wildcard Polona Hercog, who stunned former world number one Ana Ivanovic 6-4 6-4 in the day`s only upset.

"It was a big challenge for me to go out there on a big court and play against Ana Ivanovic, and I`m just really happy the way it turned out," Hercog told the WTA Tour. "It`s probably one of the biggest victories for me."

Germany`s Andrea Petkovic provided the upset of the first round when she ousted Australian Open winner Victoria Azarenka and the Bosnia-born world number 43 followed that up with a second round win over another grand slam champion on Wednesday.

Petkovic again needed to go the distance as she beat former French and U.S. Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova 4-6 6-4 6-1.

"This is the first tournament that I`ve been able to really keep up my intensity and keep up my focus. I think I`ve played two good matches," Petkovic said after setting up a clash with Czech Lucie Safarova in the third round.

"Personally it`s really important to see that I can still beat the players on the top level, two past grand slam champions. It`s just a big boost for my confidence, no matter what happens now in the future."

The victories though were only warm-up acts for the home fans keen to see their compatriot Li in action.

Li, the first Asian to win a grand slam singles title when she triumphed at the 2011 French Open, had the crowd happy as she scored a break in her 13th seeded opponent`s first service game.

The world number five ran in to trouble though as she attempted to serve out the set as Lizicki broke back to level at 5-5 only for Li to break again and win it 7-5.

Another break came midway through the second set as Li wrapped it up 6-4 despite a match total of seven double faults.

That serving issue will need to be resolved if she is to find a way past in-form Kvitova.

World number one Serena Williams is back in action on Thursday when she takes on Maria Kirilenko in the third round.

Reuters

From Zee News

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