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Tennis: China Open- Sharapova on FIRE!

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posted on Sep, 22 2004 @ 04:06 PM
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Wimbledon champion Maria Sharapova booked her place in the quarter finals of the China Open with a 6-1 6-1 drubbing of Russian compatriot Tatiana Panova. The 17-year-old, who enjoyed a bye through to the second round, overpowered Panova and served up five aces in the 49-minute match.

It was the second time Sharapova had defeated her countrywoman in 2004 after Panova was forced to retire in Memphis seven months ago.

"The fast court suited my game better - I just played my game today," said Sharapova, who now faces either seventh seed Jelena Jankovic or another Russian teenager Vera Douchevina.

Top seed Serena Williams also made a winning start although dropped the second set before overcoming Dinara Safina 6-4 3-6 6-3.

Safina, whose brother Marat Safin won the men's tournament here last week, broke the Williams serve twice in the second but the six-times grand slam winner clawed her way back into the match to book a place in the last eight.

"Out of a ten, I'd give myself a one," said the American. "Once I got into the third and got used to her game, I was able to get back."

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