(4) Maria Sharapova vs (Q) Timea Bacsinszky
Maria Sharapova will be a hot favourite to reach the quarter-finals of the inaugural Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open when she comes up against qualifier Timea Bacsinszky in the third round.
Maria Sharapova overcame a rusty to return to competitive action on Monday where she came from a set down to defeat compatriot Svetlana Kuznetsova 3-6 6-2 6-2. Maria really struggled to find any rhythm in the opening set whilst Svetlana was extremely solid from the baseline. As so often is the case, Maria improved as the match went on. Maria ran away with the second and third sets relatively comfortably. The world number 4 will be looking to build on her victory over Kuznetsova with a much more clinical display against qualifier Timea Bacsinszky on Wednesday.
Timea Bacsinszky produced one of the upsets of the tournament by defeating 13th seed Ekaterina Makarova 6-4 6-1. Neither player was able to hold serve during the first nine games of the match, Bacsinszky would break that trend in the tenth game to serve out the opening set. Timea has had some promising results in the last few weeks however it's hard to see her challenging Maria on Wednesday.
Maria has a perfect 2-0 head to head record over Timea, including a 6-2 6-1 rout earlier this year at Wimbledon. Maria should have far too much firepower for the qualifier and should come through this match in straight sets.
Prediction: Maria Sharapova to defeat Timea Bacsinszky in 2 sets