TOP SEEDS VICTORIA Azarenka and Maria Sharapova will meet in the China Open final, after resounding semi-final victories today.
Azarenka – the number one seed – accounted for French ninth seed Marion Bartoli 6-4 6-2 in one hour and 34 minutes, to set up a finale with second seed Sharapova.
The Russian dismissed local hope and seventh seed Li Na at the WTA Premier Event in Beijing 6-4 6-0 in one hour and 41 minutes. Li could manage just nine points in the second set, as Sharapova stormed into the final.
It will be the fifth time the Belarusian and Russian have gone head-to-head when they meet in China, with Azarenka leading the 2012 season clashes 3-1.
Three of their clashes this year have been in finals – with Sharapova winning their latest title decider on clay in Stuttgart – but Azarenka has won all three of their hard-court battles, including most recently their US Open semi-final.
In the men’s draw, top seed Novak Djokovic and third seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga will clash in the final of the ATP 500 event, after comprehensive victories in their respective semis.
Frenchman Tsonga was battering Spain’s Feliciano Lopez before the left-hander retired with a wrist injury, with the scoreline 6-1 4-1.
Djokovic monstered final-four opponent Florian Mayer early, with the German only winning three points off the Serb’s serve in the first set, before the five-time major winner claimed a 6-1 6-4 victory.