World No.1 Serena Williams scored her 70th victory this year and became only the fifth WTA player who managed to win 70 or more matches in one season.
The top-seeded Williams advanced to the quarterfinals of the China Open by beating Maria Kirilenko for the third time this season and seventh in her career. Their previous two 2013 encounters happened in Madrid and at the Australian Open when Serena won 6-3 6-1 and 6-2 6-0 respectively, but today’s victory wasn’t that easy. In the first set Kirilenko made a break for 5-4 and even had 40-0 and triple set point before Williams defended them all and went on to win the set 7-5. In the second set, Kirilenko was also the first to establish a lead, by breaking Serena’s serve in the fifth game and consolidating to 4-2, but Williams found her way back and managed to end the match in straight sets 7-5 7-5 in one hour and 37 minutes.
Serena will next face seed No.6 Caroline Wozniacki, for the seventh time in her career. Their head-to-head record is 5-1 for Williams. The last time they met was in quarterfinals of the Olympics when the world No.1 won in straight sets 6-0 6-3. Wozniacki advanced to the quarterfinals by eliminating 11th-seeded Sloane Stephens in one hour and 44 minutes 6-3 6-1 and is now leading Stephens in their head-to-head encounters 3-0.
In other third-round matches, eight seed Jelena Jankovic demolished 12th-seeded Carla Suarez-Navarro in just 59 minutes 6-0 6-0. Suarez-Navarro had only two game points in the match, one in each set. On the contrary, the only today’s match featuring two unseeded players, 34th-ranked Lucie Safarova and 43rd-ranked Andrea Petkovic, lasted long two hours and 50 minutes and Safarova won it 6-4 6-7(4) 7-6(2). Seed No.3 Agnieszka Radwanska advanced to the quarterfinals by defeating Polona Hercog 6-0 6-2 and seventh-seeded Angelique Kerber eliminated 10th seed Roberta Vinci 6-2 6-4. (photo: © Neal Trousdale)