Maria Sharapova suffered a second successive early exit after she was beaten in straight sets by fellow Russian Elena Vesnina at the Beijing Open. Sharapova, the 12th seed, could only reach the second round before her 7-6 (7/3) 6-2 loss to the 63rd-ranked Vesnina, a week after she was beaten by 40-year-old Kimiko Date-Krumm in the opening round in Tokyo.
Eighth seed Victoria Azarenka followed Sharapova out of the tournament after retiring due to a thigh injury when leading Timea Bacsinszky 6-4 2-3. It was the second time in three tournaments the Belorussian has retired after she collapsed on court during her second round match with Gisela Dulko at the US Open.
Second seed Vera Zvonareva beat Andrea Petkovic 6-4 6-1 while French Open champion Francesca Schiavone easily ousted Polona Hercog 6-3 6-3. Local hopeful and ninth seed Li Na beat Alisa Kleybanova 6-1 6-4 while Shahar Peer (15) was too good for Patty Schnyder, winning 6-4 6-2.