Beijing Day 5 Preview
Published October 02, 2012 06:35
BEIJING, China - World No.2 Maria Sharapova headlines Day 5 at the National Tennis Center, taking on the mercurial Sorana Cirstea in one of the remaining second round matches.
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Wednesday, Second Round
National Tennis Stadium
 Maria Sharapova (RUS #2) vs. Sorana Cirstea (ROU #29)
Head-to-head: first meeting
Remarkably, for a player of her caliber, Maria Sharapova has failed to win back-to-back matches in Beijing since it was upgraded to a Premier Mandatory event four years ago. She will hope to put an end to this statistic on Wednesday afternoon when she takes on the sometimes flashy, but always dangerous, Sorana Cirstea.
Like Sharapova, Cirstea goes for her shots and, as testified by eight career Top 10 wins, on her day she is a match for anyone. Sharapova looked a little rusty in the first round against Simona Halep and will know that a similar performance against the Romanian could see her become the tournament's latest high-profile casualty.
 Marion Bartoli (FRA #10) vs. Julia Goerges (GER #21)
Head-to-head: Bartoli leads 3-1
Apparently, revenge is a dish best served cold, but on Wednesday Julia Goerges gets the chance to serve it up piping hot. Just eight days after losing to Marion Bartoli in Tokyo, Goerges takes on the same opponent in Beijing looking to put the record straight.
Both players impressed in the second round - Bartoli swatting aside Ayumi Morita and Goerges toppling No.8 seed Samantha Stosur - and know that, with Petra Kvitova now removed from their quarter, they have a golden opportunity to reach the business end of the tournament.
Jelena Jankovic (SRB #26) vs. Carla Suárez Navarro (ESP #46)
Head-to-head: Jankovic leads 4-1
Facing the winner of Bartoli and Goerges will be either Jelena Jankovic or Carla Suárez Navarro, who meet in the first match on Lotus Court. Although Jankovic holds the upper hand in terms of the head-to-head record, Suárez Navarro will go into the clash in buoyant mood after producing her best tennis of the year to defeat World No.5 Petra Kvitova in the last round.
Jankovic has also looked impressive in the Chinese capital, dropping just nine games in her first two matches to add further momentum to her end of season revival. However, as she proved against Kvitova - and her three other Top 10 career victims - Suárez Navarro often saves her best tennis for when the stakes are highest, and with a maiden Premier quarterfinal up for grabs, the stakes do not get much higher.
Around the grounds…
Defending champion Agnieszka Radwanska faces qualifier Lourdes Domínguez Lino, while the only other third round match sees Ana Ivanovic take on Romina Oprandi. In the doubles, No.2 seeds Maria Kirilenko and Nadia Petrova and fellow title challengers Vania King and Yaroslava Shvedova kick off their campaigns.
For more on today's matches, see our Match Notes in the Press Center.