After winning a back-and-forth third-round encounter with Andrea Petkovic that featured 17 breaks of serve, Simona Halep strategically withdrew from the China Open to go home for a hip MRI in order to get prepared for the WTA Championships in Singapore, as Courtney Nguyen first revealed on Twitter. Another health casualty on Thursday was Venus Williams, although the American withdrew with viral illness prior to her third-round match against Petra Kvitova.
The second-seeded Halep dropped serve nine times, including when serving for the victory at 5-3, but eventually stormed through the tiebreak, 7-6(4) 5-7 7-6(1). The Romanian’s withdrawal means that ninth-seeded Ana Ivanovic has a free passage into the semifinals, after her hard-fought 6-3 7-5 victory over Sabine Lisicki in which she saved ten break points.
In the last match on Tuesday, Serena Williams overcame a second-set slump to beat Lucie Safarova 6-1 1-6 6-2 and the Beijing quarterfinals are set now: Serena Williams vs. Sam Stosur, Petra Kvitova vs. Roberta Vinci, Svetlana Kuznetsova vs. Maria Sharapova, while Ana Ivanovic will have the pleasure of sitting out her quarterfinal. (photo: © Neal Trousdale)