Azarenka steams into Beijing semis

ESPN staff
October 5, 2012
Victoria Azarenka is yet to drop a set at the China Open © PA Photos

Victoria Azarenka dismantled Romina Oprandi to cruise into the semi-finals of the China Open on Friday.

The world No. 1 was in dominant form as she overpowered her rival 6-2 6-0 in just 55 minutes.

Azarenka, who is yet to drop a set in Beijing this week, broke her opponent in her opening service game and never looked in danger of surrendering her advantage as she breezed through the opening set.

Oprandi offered even less resistance in the second set as she won just four points - only one of which was on serve - as she was helpless to prevent Azarenka powering into the last four, where she will meet where she will meet Marion Bartoli, who survived a wobble to defeat Carla Suarez Navarro.

After winning the opening set with ease, Bartoli was pegged back by a resurgent Suarez Navarro, but the ninth seed held her nerve to seal a 6-0 2-6 6-4 victory.

Second seed Maria Sharapova remains on a collision course with Azarenka after the French Open champion responded in impressive fashion.

While Sharapova was ultimately gifted a place in the last four after Angelique Kerber retired, the Russian had been in total control of the match as she motored to a 6-0 3-0 lead before the German offered her hand.

Sharapova will face home favourite Li Na in the semi-finals after the world No. 8 ousted third seed Agnieszka Radwanska. Li, who clinched the final berth for the year-end WTA Championships with the result, thrilled the crowds with a 6-4 6-2 victory.

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