Simona Halep finally beats Maria Sharapova with crushing win
Simona Halep avenged her first-round defeat at the US Open with victory over Maria Sharapova at the China Open – her first ever win against the Russian.
The Romanian was a convincing 6-2 6-2 winner in 72 minutes as she moved into the quarter-finals.
Defending champion Agnieszka Radwanska was beaten in three sets by Russian Daria Kasatkina.
It was Sharapova’s first straight sets defeat of 2017 as she racked up 39 unforced errors.
Halep, who broke her rival five times, will face Kasatkina in the last eight.
"It was a great match, I think I played my best tennis against her," she said.
"I served pretty well, and the work that I did after the US Open, I could see it on court today. I'm really happy that I could do this. It's my first victory against her and I just want to enjoy the moment.
"Today, I said it's just another match, I just wanted to give everything I have, stay focused, calm and positive."
The pair’s head-to-head now reads 7-1 to Sharapova, who edged a thrilling contest under the lights at Flushing Meadows in August.
"I think she played an incredible match, probably the best she's played against me in all of our previous meetings," Sharapova added.
"I wasn't as sharp. I wasn't seeing the ball as well. I wasn't moving up and down as well as I have been against her.
"She was hitting the ball consistently, not making a lot of unforced errors, her service percentage was quite high. She did all the right things."
Sharapova is ranked 104th in the world as she continues her comeback from a 15-month drugs ban.
French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko reached the third round with a 6-3 7-5 win over Samantha Stosur to creep closer to a spot at the WTA Finals in Singapore.
The Latvian was joined by Caroline Garcia, a 7-6(4) 6-4 winner over Elise Mertens, and Peng Shuai, who beat Monica Niculescu 6-3 6-2.
Later, world number three Elina Svitolina also progressed with a 6-4 6-2 win over Ashleigh Barty.
China Open women's results
- 2-Simona Halep (Romania) beat Maria Sharapova (Russia) 6-2 6-2
- Daria Kasatkina (Russia) beat 11-Agnieszka Radwanska (Poland) 4-6 7-5 6-2
- 3-Elina Svitolina (Ukraine) beat Ashleigh Barty (Australia) 6-4 6-2
- Peng Shuai (China) beat Monica Niculescu (Romania) 6-3 6-2
- 9-Jelena Ostapenko (Latvia) beat Samantha Stosur (Australia) 6-3 7-5
- Caroline Garcia (France) beat Elise Mertens (Belgium) 7-6(4) 6-4