Maria defeated Polona Hercog of Slovenia 6-0 6-2 to advance to the quarters of the China Open in Beijing.
Maria won the first eight games of her match and lost the next two before reeling off four more games to win.
After the match, Maria said: “I had a long first round match, but today and yesterday were definitely a little bit quicker. I played really well in the beginning and got a bit tense in the second set, but I felt like I really needed that challenge. It wasn’t easy. I was up a set and a break and played a couple of loose points, and then all of a sudden my opponent started feeling better and more confident. But when you have a letdown, you just have to recover as fast as you can.”
In the quarters to be played at 3.00 PM local time on Friday, Maria will play No.5 seed Angelique Kerber of Germany. Maria has played the 24-year-old three times before and leads the series 2-1, here are the matches they have played against each other:
2012 Australian Open R3: Maria won 6-1 6-2
2012 Paris QF: Kerber won 6-4 6-4
2012 Rome SF: Maria won 6-3 6-4