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MOSCOW, October 4. /TASS/. Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova finished her journey at the 2017 China Open after losing at the tennis tournament’s third round in Beijing to World’s No. 2 Simona Halep of Romania.
The match for the spot in the quarterfinals stage lasted for one hour and 12 minutes and saw the Romanian defeating the Russian for the first time in the history of their previous head-to-head encounters, ousting Sharapova from the tournament in straight sets 6-2, 6-2.
"I'm really happy that I could do this," the official website of the Women Tennis Association (WTA) quoted Halep as saying after the match with Sharapova. "It's my first victory against her and I just want to enjoy the moment."
The Russian tennis player defeated Halep in all of their previous seven head-to-head meetings. Their most recent encounter was at the 2017 US Open tournament with Sharapova defeating Halep in the first round match of the Grand Slam tournament in New York 6-4, 4-6, 6-3.
"It was a great match, I think I played my best tennis against her," Halep said. "I served pretty well, and the work that I did after the US Open, I could see it on court today."
Former World’s No. 1 Sharapova, who is the champion and the vice champion of the China Open tournament in 2014 and 2012 respectively, praised the level of Halep’s play today saying the Romanian player deserved the victory.
"I think she played an incredible match, probably the best she's played against me in all of our previous meetings," the WTA website quoted Sharapova as saying.
"I wasn't as sharp. I wasn't seeing the ball as well. I wasn't moving up and down as well as I have been against her," according to the Russian tennis star.
Sharapova is Russia’s most decorated tennis player having won a total of five Grand Slam tournaments, namely the Australian Open in 2008, the French Open in 2012 and 2014, Wimbledon in 2004 and the US Open in 2006.
She also clinched the silver in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London and was the 2008 Federations Cup champion.
After a 15-month long suspension for violating anti-doping regulations, Sharapova made her return to tennis in April at Stuttgart, where she stormed into the semifinals round of the tournament.