MOSCOW, October 5 (RIA Novosti)
Second seed Maria Sharapova was handed a free pass into the China Open semifinals on Friday after her opponent Angelique Kerber retired midway through the match.
The Russian world No. 2 had waltzed through the first set 6-0 and was 3-0 up in the second set when the fifth-seeded German withdrew.
Sharapova, the Olympic silver medalist, is yet to drop a set in wins over Simona Halep, Sorana Cirstea and Polona Hercog, and faces third seed Agnieszka Radwanska or local favorite Li Na, seeded seven, in the semifinal.
On the other side of the draw, top seed and world No. 1 Victoria Azarenka awaits the winner of the quarterfinal between Carla Suarez Navarro and ninth seed Marion Bartoli.
The prize fund for the women’s draw is $4.8 million.
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