China Open: Maria Sharapova beats Anastasija Sevastova in three-hour epic
Maria Sharapova put her recent US Open defeat by Anastasija Sevastova behind her with a gripping three-hour win over the Latvian at the China Open.
Maria Sharapova, playing for the first time since that defeat in New York 26 days ago, saved a match point as she won 7-6 (7-3) 5-7 7-6 (9-7) in Beijing.
The 30-year-old wildcard, ranked 104th, will face compatriot Ekaterina Makarova or Jennifer Brady of the US next.
Second seed Simona Halep and 10th seed Angelique Kerber also progressed.
Romania’s Halep beat American Alison Riske 6-3 3-6 6-2, German Kerber saw off Japan’s Naomi Osaka 6-2 7-5, and 12th seed Petra Kvitova beat fellow Czech Kristyna Pliskova 6-3 7-5.