(4) Maria Sharapova vs (3) Petra Kvitova
The China Open final will be a battle for the world number 2 place when Maria Sharapova comes up Petra Kvitova.
Maria Sharapova advanced to the final in Beijing by avenging her Cincinnati loss to Ana ivanovic with a comprehensive 6-0 6-4 victory. Sharapova was in total control of the match in the opening set, a wayward Ana Ivanovic wasn't providing much resistance. Ivanovic raised her level in the second set, and for a third straight match Sharapova found herself in a second set battle after a comfortable first set win. Once again Sharapova managed to see off the fight, it wasn't easy. Maria really struggled to serve out the match; she finally closed it out on her fourth attempt in a marathon final game lasting 10 minutes. Maria is playing great tennis this week and will enter this match as the strong favourite as a result.
Petra’s route to the final was far less straightforward; Kvitova was forced to battle hard for a three set victory over Sam Stosur. After winning the first set quite comfortably, a 30 minute rain delay brought a halt to proceedings. After the break, Sam Stosur came out on fire, playing some of her best tennis of the year to take the second set 7-5. It seemed that Stosur would run away with the match in the third but Petra found a way to grind out her eight consecutive win in China.
Maria has a commanding 5-2 head to head record over Petra Kvitova; Sharapova has won the last four meeting between the two dating back to the 2012 Australian Open. In their only meeting this year, Sharapova came out on top 7-5 6-1 in Miami. A lot has changed since then, both ladies have had great seasons ever since. However I expect to see a very similar result here. Kvitova doesn't seem to have much left in the tank; she even seemed to surprise herself by defeating Sam Stosur on Saturday. On the other hand, Maria seems very determined to go all the way this week in Beijing. Maria is one of few players that can really attack Petra’s serve, which will be one of the keys to her victory on Saturday.
Prediction: Maria Sharapova to defeat Petra Kvitova in 2 sets