Maria Sharapova returned to world No.2 after winning her fourth title of the season at the China Open in Beijing

Sharapova climbs to No.2 after Beijing triumph



Originally published on 06/10/14

The Russian defeated Petra Kvitova 6-4 2-6 6-3 to overtake the Wimbledon champion and Simona Halep in the WTA rankings to reach her highest ranking since June 2013.

In a match that would have seen the winner climb to world No.2 as well as taking home the trophy and $935,000 prize money, Sharapova, who reached the final without dropping a set, took an early lead against her Czech opponent.

Kvitova, victorious in Wuhan the week before, soon found her range and powered through the second set to force a decider. However, she was unable to maintain her momentum as she surrendered an early break and Sharpova held her nerve to serve the match out to love for her first hard-court title since Indian Wells in March 2013.

"It was a bit of an up-and-down match I'd say – maybe not the best out of the tournament," Sharapova admitted. "But it's never easy playing against Petra. You don't always quite get a good rhythm. She goes for a lot of shots, very deep, and she's a very good, confident player.

"I knew she'd been on a roll in the last couple of weeks. It's probably the toughest opponent you can face in a final, [one] that's had that success, yet you just want to focus on your side, what you do best.

"She became the more aggressive player in the second set. I think I took a few too many steps back and let her play that way. But I was able to lift my game again in the third and come out with a win."

"Yeah, I was tired, but it was a final, and every time I'm playing a final, I'm giving everything I have inside," admitted Kvitova, who had played nine matches in 12 days. "What I did today was a great battle. It was small things and small points that made the difference in the end. I had some chances, but Maria just didn't let them go.”


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