Maria is into the third round of the China Open in Beijing, China after a 6-4 4-6 6-1 win over Ekaterina Makarova of Russia.
The match lasted two hours and 12 minutes as Maria won her eighth consecutive match against her compatriot.
Maria got off to a strong start in the first set as she took a 4-1 lead. Serving for the set at 5-3, Maria was broken but Maria broke Makarova’s serve in the next game to wrap up the set 6-4 in 41 minutes.
After losing the second set 6-4, Maria composed herself and just dropped one game in the third set as she won match point on her serve when Makarova hit a return out.
In the third round, Maria will play No.2 seed Simona Halep of Romania on Wednesday. It’s the third match on National Tennis Stadium and the schedule begins at 12.30 PM local time (6.30 AM CET, 12.30 AM & 9.30 PM PT (Tuesday)). Maria has played the 26-year-old eight times before and leads the series 7-1. Here are the matches they have played against each other:
2012 Indian Wells R3: Maria won 6-3 6-4
2012 Beijing R1: Maria won 7-5 7-5
2014 Madrid Final: Maria won 1-6 6-2 6-3
2014 French Open Final: Maria won 6-4 6-7 6-4
2014 Cincinnati QF: Maria won 3-6 6-4 6-4
2015 WTA Finals RR: Maria won 6-4 6-4
2017 US Open R1: Maria won 6-4 4-6 6-3
2017 Beijing R3: Halep won 6-2 6-2
On playing Halep, Maria said:
“You can take a little bit away from all the matches we’ve played in the past. We know each other’s games very well. They’ve always been very challenging, tough, competitive, emotional.That’s why we play these tournaments, play these events. You have to get through them. Maybe these are not the type of matchups you expect earlier in a tournament, but this is what I have now. I love the challenge of playing against someone that’s No.2 in the world. She’s a great player. She’s had a great year. Any time you’re able to face an opponent that’s done something right and well, it’s great to see where you are and where your level is.”