Maria Sharapova of Russia reacts during the second round match against Alison Riske of the United States at the WTA Shenzhen Open tennis tournament in Shenzhen, Jan 2, 2018. (MAO SIQIAN / XINHUA)
SHENZHEN, China — Maria Sharapova had 11 aces and saved seven of 10 break points to beat Alison Riske 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 on Tuesday and advance to the Shenzhen Open quarterfinals.
The five-time major winner will next face Zarina Diyas, who upset third-seeded Zhang Shuai 6-3, 6-7 (5), 6-4.
"Although I would've wanted a quick and easy victory, these are the kind of matches that you need, especially with such a short preparation going into the Australian Open," Sharapova said.
Earlier, Kristyna Pliskova, the twin of former No 1-ranked Karolina Pliskova, beat French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko 6-1, 6-4.
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Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia returns the ball during the first round match against Kristyna Pliskova of the Czech Republic at the WTA Shenzhen Open tennis tournament in Shenzhen, Jan 2, 2018. (MAO SIQIAN / XINHUA)
Ostapenko, who beat Serena Williams in an exhibition match in Abu Dhabi on Saturday, was overwhelmed by Pliskova's powerful serves.
"I felt a bit nervous in the second set, but my serve was really working today, which was a big help," Pliskova said.
Pliskova will next play Ana Bogdan, who beat Camila Giorgi 6-4, 6-2.
Aryna Sabalenka also advanced to the quarterfinals with a 6-1, 6-0 victory over Danka Kovinic, while Timea Babos defeated Magda Linette 6-2, 6-1.