BEIJING, China - Friday will see the final eight players in the draw battle it out for a place in the semifinals. First up in the National Tennis Stadium will be the third meeting of the year between Maria Sharapova and Angelique Kerber, followed by home favorite Li Na's clash with Agnieszka Radwanska.
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National Tennis Stadium
 Maria Sharapova (RUS #2) vs.  Angelique Kerber (GER #6)
Head-to-head: Sharapova leads 2-1
After a slow start to the tournament, Maria Sharapova seems to have found her feet at the National Tennis Center, looking at her imperious best during a quick-fire victory over Polona Hercog in the last round. Exactly where her form is at going into the home stretch of the season, though, will be far easier to gauge after she takes on Angelique Kerber.
With 60 wins to her name, no player has won more matches than Kerber in 2012 and - mid-match wobble against Caroline Wozniacki aside - she has impressed this week. Although Sharapova has the slight edge in terms of power and the head-to-head record, Kerber is certainly capable of trading on equal terms, as she showed during her win indoors in Paris earlier this year.
 Agnieszka Radwanska (POL #3) vs.  Li Na (CHN #8)
Head-to-head: Li leads 4-3
Defending champion Agnieszka Radwanska goes into her quarterfinal against Li Na with a score to settle. Twice in as many weeks during the summer hardcourt season, an ailing Radwanska was on the receiving end of humbling defeats against Li, picking up a combined total of just five games in Montréal and Cincinnati.
Now seemingly over the shoulder injury that affected her game for much of the summer, Radwanska has looked back to her best in Asia, reaching the final in Tokyo and making it through to the last eight in the Chinese capital. Li, on the other hand, was given an almighty scare against Peng Shuai on Thursday evening, and if she produces another error-strewn display against Radwanska it could be a long night for her and the 15,000 cheering her on courtside.
 Marion Bartoli (FRA #10) vs. Carla Suárez Navarro (ESP #46)
Head-to-head: first meeting
Carla Suárez Navarro arrived in Beijing on a three match losing streak and having won back-to-back matches just once since the start of July. Three highly impressive wins later and the Spaniard is into a maiden Premier Mandatory quarterfinal where she will take on former semifinalist Marion Bartoli.
Like Suárez Navarro, Bartoli is yet to drop a set this week, continuing the late summer surge that sees her still in with a chance of qualifying for the TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships - Istanbul 2012. Defeat on Friday, though, and her chances of reaching Turkey are over, adding an intriguing subplot to what is likely to be a fascinating contest.
Around the grounds?
In the last quarterfinal, top seed Victoria Azarenka faces qualifier Romina Oprandi, while in the doubles Katarina Srebotnik and Zheng Jie take on Nuria Llagostera Vives and Sania Mirza for the right to meet Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina or Maria Kirilenko and Nadia Petrova in the final.
For more on today's matches, see our Match Notes in the Press Center.