The first set was dominated by breaks of serve for both women with Li Na scrambling back from behind and retrieving the Russians heavy forehands well. The first set ended with a tiebreak, Sharapova went into a 4-0 lead and did not look as though she was going to squander it but that is exactly what she did and lost 6 points in a row to let Li Na win the first set 7-4 in the tiebreaker.
Both women are clearly not playing their best, making a lot of errors, neither having many matches of late. Although Sharapova made some ferocious winners in the second set, Li Na always seems to be able to stay in there and forces the break to go 2-1 up. Sharapova then tries to make an uncharacteristic backhand drop shot. Unsurprisingly it fails miserably as this is not her usual game plan and Li Na consolidates her break of serve. With Sharapova not able to string a few good points together Li Na gets another break to go 5-2 up, she is then broken but manages to hold her serve eventually and wins the match 7-6(4), 6-4.
Sharapova is not playing at her best after having a few weeks off and although she played some amazing shots she then hits some silly errors that have only been allowed to seep in due to lack of match practise and so Li Na scrapes through after a very nervous match.
Azarenka got a good first win to beat Stosur earlier today with a clinical victory, 6-2, 6-2 with Stosur clearly not playing the sort of tennis that won her the match against the World No. 2 the day before.