MOSCOW, October 6 (RIA Novosti)
Maria Sharapova defeated seventh seed Li Na on Saturday to reach the final of the China Open without dropping a set.
The 30-year-old Chinese player, who booked the last place at WTA Tour Championships by reaching the semifinal, put up some resitance in the first set but capitulated to the second seed thereafter.
Sharapova handed an early break to Li after serving three consecutive double faults, but quickly shrugged it off to storm to a 6-4, 6-0 victory.
World No. 1 Victoria Azarenka and Marion Bartoli of France face off later to determine Sharapova's opponent in the final.
In the men’s draw, third seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga had Feliciano Lopez all but defeated when the Spaniard retired with a wrist injury.
Lopez, ranked 30 in the world, lost the first set 6-1 and was 4-1 down in the second when he withdrew.
"I'm sure I will play good tennis in final," Tsonga said after the match. "Even if today Feliciano was not in good shape, and even if he has a problem, I played well. I felt really good on the court."
The Frenchman will play either top-ranked Novak Djokovic or Germany’s Florian Mayer in Sunday's final of the $2.2 million ATP event.
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The main event of the third day of the 11th meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club in Sochi was the closing session with President Vladimir Putin. The atmosphere was calm and open, despite the current political tensions and the Russia-West confrontation. The Russian president said that it corresponded to the spirit of the Valdai Club.